Introduction to the Literature of Equatorial Guinea: Between Colonialism and Dictatorship available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- University of Missouri Press
Spain’s only former colony in sub-Saharan Africa, Equatorial Guinea is home to a literature of transitionsongs of freedom in which authors reflect on their identity within the context of recent colonialism and dictatorship.
An Introduction to the Literature of Equatorial Guinea is the first book-length critical study of this literature, a multigenre analysis encompassing fifty years of poetry, drama, essays, and prose fiction. Both resident and exiled authors offer insights into the impact of colonialism and dictatorship under Spanish rule and consider the fruits of “independence” under the regimes of Francisco Macías Nguema and Teodoro Obiang Nguema. Examining these works from the perspective of postcolonial theory, Marvin A. Lewis shows how writings from Equatorial Guinea depict the clash of traditional and European cultures and reflect a dictatorship that produced poverty, misery, and oppression. He assesses with particular care the impact of the Macías reafricanization process and its manifestations in literature.
In showing how the views of the nation correspond and diverge in works of writers such as Maria Nsue Angue, Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo, and Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel, Lewis brings to light artists who articulate their concerns in Spanish but are African in their souls. In analyzing the works of both renowned and emerging writers, he marks the themes that contribute to the formation of national identity: Hispanic heritage, the myth of Bantu unity, “bonding in adversity” during the Nguema regime, and the Equatoguinean diaspora.
Lewis provides an accessible introduction to the work of central writers in a new area of literary study and includes the most exhaustive and up-to-date bibliography available on the subject. His is a groundbreaking work that broadens our understanding of African literature and will be the bedrock for future studies of this Hispanic corner of Africa.
About the Author
Marvin A. Lewis is Professor Emeritus of Spanish American and African Diaspora literatures in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures of the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is the founding Director of the Afro-Romance Institute for Languages and Literatures of the African Diaspora (1996-2005) at MU, Founder of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association (ALARA) and Editor of its publication (PALARA) (1996-2005). Lewis has published six books with the University of Missouri Press, which are: Afro-Hispanic Poetry, 1940-1980: From Slavery to Negritud in South American Verse, 1983; Treading the Ebony Path: Ideology and Violence in Contemporary Afro-Colombian Prose Fiction, 1987; Ethnicity and Identity in Contemporary Afro-Venezuelan Literature: a Culturalist Approach, 1992; Afro-Argentine Discourse: Another Dimension of the Black Diaspora, 1996, Translated by Gabriela Díaz Cortez, El discurso Afroargentino: otra dimensión de la diáspora negra, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina, 2011; An Introduction to the Literature of Equatorial Guinea; Between Colonialism and Dictatorship, 2007; and Equatorial Guinean Literature in its National and Transnational Contexts, 2017.
Lewis is also the author of The Peruvian Novels of Mario Vargas Llosa, 1983; Afro-Uruguayan Literature: Post-Colonial Persectives, 2003, translated by the author and Alicia Porrini, Cultura y literatura afrouruguaya: perspectivas post-coloniales, 2011; and Adalberto Ortiz: From Margin to Center, 2013.
Current projects include a book-length study: Nelson Estupiñán Bass: An Introduction to his writings (in press), translated by Gabriela Díaz Cortez and Valentina Goldraij, Nelson Estupiñán Bass: una introducción a sus escritos, Quito: Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 2017. A book-length study of Afrocolombian literature and the environment is underway. The project was supported by a Fulbright Grant in 2016 for research in the Colombian Chocó region.
Lewis lives in Columbia, MO.