The Noir Atlantic follows the influence of African American author Chester Himes on Francophone African crime fiction. In 1953, Himes emigrated to Paris; he struggled there, just as he had in the United States. In 1957, his luck changed: the famous French Série noire brought out the first installment of his "Harlem crime series, La reine des pommes. Suddenly, he was a household name in France. Later, he would also have a significant influence on Francophone African writers; for them, Himes's blend of absurdist humor and violence offered an alternative to a high literary paradigm implanted during the colonial era. Likewise, his heterogeneous identity as American, black, and a writer of "French" bestsellers modeled an escape from the centripetal pull of the Métropole. Starting with Abasse Ndione's depictions of Senegal's marijuana-smoking subculture in La Vie en spirale (1982) and ending with Mongo Beti's 2001 Branle-bas en noir et blanc, set in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Francophone African crime fiction rejected French criteria of literary success; it embraced a new postcolonial aesthetic that emphasized entertaining the reader while making a living. The Noir Atlantic demonstrates why turning to what this study calls a "frivolous literary" mode represented a profound shift in perspective that anticipated more recent developments such as littérature monde.
|Publisher:||Liverpool University Press|
|Series:||Liverpool University Press - Contemporary French & Francophone Cultures Series|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Pim Higginson is Associate Professor of French at the Department of French and Francophone Studies, Bryn Mawr College, USA.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Frivolous Literary
1. "Pas de litterature": Abasse Ndione and the Rise of Crime
2. Minor Mistranslations: Simon Njami and the Making of a Parisianist Himes
3. Crime Pays: Achille Ngoye and the Serie noire
4. Ethnographic Erotics: Bolya and the Writing of the Other
5. Terreur Rose: Kouty, memoire de sang and the Gendering of Noir
6. Going out Blazing: Mongo Beti's Last Two Novels