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African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory



African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory

Tejumola Olaniyan (Editor), Ato Quayson (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-405-11200-0 July 2007 Wiley-Blackwell 796 Pages

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This is the first anthology to bring together the key texts of African literary theory and criticism.

  • Brings together key texts that are otherwise hard to locate
  • Covers all genres and critical schools
  • Provides the intellectual context for understanding African literature
  • Facilitates the future development of African literary criticism

Introduction: Tejumola Olaniyan and Ato Quayson.

Part I: Backgrounds:.

1. Africa and Writing: Alain Ricard (2004).

2. Sub-Saharan Africa’s Literary History in a Nutshell: Albert S. Gérard (1993).

3. Politics, Culture, and Literary Form: Bernth Lindfors (1979).

4. African Literature in Portuguese: Russell G. Hamilton (2004).

5. North African Writing: Anissa Talahite (1997).

6. A Continent and its Literatures in French: Jonathan Ngate (1988).

7. African Literature and the Colonial Factor: Simon Gikandi (2004).

8. African Literature: Myth or Reality?: V. Y. Mudimbe (1985).

Part II: Orality, Literacy, and the Interface:.

9. Africa and Orality: Liz Gunner (2004).

10. Orality, Literacy, and African Literature: Abiola Irele (1989).

11. Oral Literature and Modern African Literature: Isidore Okpewho (1992).

12. Women’s Oral Genres: Mary E. Modupe Kolawole (1997).

13.The Oral Artist’s Script: Harold Scheub (2002).

Part III: Writer, Writing, and Function:.

14. The Novelist as Teacher: Chinua Achebe (1965).

15. The Truth of Fiction: Chinua Achebe (1988).

16. Three in a Bed: Fiction, Morals, and Politics: Nadine Gordimer (1988).

17. Nobel Lecture: Naguib Mahfouz (1988).

18. Redefining Relevance: Njabulo S. Ndebele (1994).

19. Preparing Ourselves for Freedom: Albie Sachs (1990).

Part IV: Creativity in/and Adversarial Contexts:.

20. A Voice That Would Not Be Silenced: Wole Soyinka (2001).

21. Exile and Creativity: A Prolonged Writer’s Block: Micere Githae Mugo (1997).

22. Containing Cockroaches (Memories of Incarceration Reconstructed in Exile): Jack Mapanje (1997).

23. Writing Against Neo-Colonialism: Ngugi wa Thiong’O (1988).

24. The Writer and Responsibility: Breyten Bretenbach (1983).

25. Dissidence and Creativity: Nawal El Saadawi (1996).

26. Culture Beyond Color? A South African Dilemma: Zoë Wicomb (1993).

27. In Praise of Exile: Nuruddin Farah (1990).

28. The African Writer’s Experience of European Literature: D. Marechera (1987).

Part V: On Nativism and the Quest for Indigenous Aesthetics: Negritude and Traditionalism:.

29. Negritude: A Humanism of the Twentieth Century: Léopold Sédar Senghor (1970).

30. What is Négritude?: Abiola Irele (1977).

31. Negritude and a New Africa: An Update: Peter S. Thompson (2002).

32. Prodigals, Come Home!: Chinweizu (1973).

33. Neo-Tarzanism: The Poetics of Pseudo-Tradition: Wole Soyinka (1975).

34. My Signifier is More Native than Yours: Issues in Making a Literature African: Adélékè Adéèkó (1998).

35. Out of Africa: Topologies of Nativism: Kwame Anthony Appiah (1988).

36. On National Culture: Frantz Fanon (1963).

37. True and False Pluralism: Paulin Hountondji (1973).

38. “An Open Letter to Africans” c/o The Punic One-Party State: Sony Labou Tansi (1990).

39. Resistance Theory/Theorizing Resistance or Two Cheers for Nativism: Benita Parry (1994).

Part VI: The Language of African Literature:.

40. The Dead End of African Literature: Obiajunwa Wali (1963).

41. The Language of African Literature: Ngugi wa Thiong’O (1986).

42. Anamnesis in the Language of Writing: Assia Djebar (1999).

43. African-Language Literature: Tragedy and Hope: Daniel P. Kunene (1992).

Part VII: On Genres:.

44. Background to the West African Novel: Emmanuel N. Obiechina (1975).

45. Languages of the Novel: A Lover’s Reflections: André Brink (1998).

46. Realism and Naturalism in African Fiction: Neil Lazarus (1987).

47. “Who Am I?”: Fact and Fiction in African First-Person Narrative: Mineke Schipper (1989).

48. Festivals, Ritual, and Drama in Africa: Tejumola Olaniyan (2004).

49. The Fourth Stage: Through the Mysteries of Ogun to the Origin of Yoruba Tragedy: Wole Soyinka (1973).

50. Introduction to King Oedipus: Tawfiq Al-Hakim (1949).

51. Poetry as Dramatic Performance: Kofi Anyidoho (1991).

52. “Azikwelwa” (We Will Not Ride): Politics and Value in Black South African Poetry: Anne McClintock (1987).

53. Revolutionary Practice and Style in Lusophone Liberation Poetry: Emmanuel Ngara (1990).

Part VIII: Theorizing the Criticism of African Literature:.

54. Academic Problems and Critical Techniques: Eldred D. Jones (1965).

55. African Literature, Western Critics: Rand Bishop (1988).

56. A Formal Approach to African Literature: Kenneth W. Harrow (1990).

57. African Absence, a Literature without a Voice: Ambroise Kom (1997).

58. The Nature of Things: Arrested Decolonization and Critical Theory: Biodun Jeyifo (1990).

59. Reading through Western Eyes: Christopher L. Miller (1990).

60. The Logic of Agency in African Literary Criticism: Olakunle George (2003).

61. Exclusionary Practices in African Literary Criticism: Florence Stratton (1994).

Part IX: Marxism:.

62. Towards a Marxist Sociology of African Literature: Omafume F. Onoge (1986).

63. Writers in Politics: The Power of Words and the Words of Power: Ngugi wa Thiong’O (1997).

64. National Liberation and Culture: Amilcar Cabral (1970).

65. Concerning National Culture: Agostinho Neto (1979).

66. Masks and Marx: The Marxist Ethos vis-à-vis African Revolutionary Theory and Praxis: Ayi Kwei Armah (1985).

67. Marxist Aesthetics: An Open-Ended Legacy: Chidi Amuta (1989).

Part X: Feminism:.

68. To Be an African Woman Writer – an Overview and a Detail: Ama Ata Aidoo (1988).

69. The Heroine in Arab Literature: Nawal El Saadawi (1980).

70. Women and Creative Writing in Africa: Flora Nwapa (1998).

71. African Motherhood – Myth and Reality: Lauretta Ngcobo (1988).

72. Stiwanism: Feminism in an African Context: Molara Ogundipe-Leslie (1994).

73. Feminism with a Small “f”: Buchi Emecheta (1988).

74. Writing Near the Bone: Yvonne Vera (1997).

75. Some Notes on African Feminism: Carole Boyce Davies (1986).

76. Bringing African Women into the Classroom: Rethinking Pedagogy and Epistemology: Obioma Nnaemeka (1994).

77. Enlightenment Epistemology and the Invention of Polygyny: Uzo Esonwanne (1997).

78. Feminism, Postcolonialism and the Contradictory Orders of Modernity: Ato Quayson (2000).

Part XI: Structuralism, Poststructuralism, Postcolonialism, and Postmodernism:.

79. Genetic Structuralism as a Critical Technique (Notes Toward a Sociological Theory of the African.

Novel): Sunday O. Anozie (1971).

80. In Praise of Alienation: Abiola Irele (1987).

81. In the Wake of Colonialism and Modernity: Biodun Jeyifo (2000).

82. Postructuralism and Postcolonial Discourse: Simon Gikandi (2004).

83. Subjectivity and History: Derrida in Algeria: Robert J. C. Young (2001).

84. The Angel of Progress: Pitfalls of the Term “Post-colonialism”: Anne McClintock (1994).

85. Postmodernity, Postcoloniality, and African Studies: Tejumola Olaniyan (2003).

86. Postcolonialism and Postmodernism: Ato Quayson (2000).

87. Is the Post- in Postmodernism the Post- in Postcolonial?: Kwame Anthony Appiah (1991).

88. Postmodernism and Black Writing in South Africa: Lewis Nkosi (1998).

89. African-Language Literature and Postcolonial Criticism: Karin Barber (1995).

Part XII: Ecocriticism:.

90. Ecoing the Other(s): The Call of Global Green and Black African Responses: William Slaymaker (2001).

91. Different Shades of Green: Ecocriticism and African Literature: Byron Caminero-Santangelo (2007).

92. Ecological Postcolonialism in African Women’s Literature: Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi (1998).

93. Environmentalism and Postcolonialism: Rob Nixon (2005).

Part XIII: Queer, Postcolonial:.

94. “Wheyting Be Dat?”: The Treatment of Homosexuality in African Literature: Chris Dunton (1989).

95. Out in Africa: Gaurav Desai (1997).

96. Toward a Lesbian Continuum? Or Reclaiming the Erotic: Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi (1997).

97. Queer Futures: The Coming-Out Novel in South Africa: Brenna Munro (2007).


"This anthology represents a gathering of the best critical work on African literature and on larger questions of literary history, the sociology of literature, criticism and theory. In this magnificent book, we have a collection of the best that has been thought and written about African literary culture and the modern imagination."
Simon Gikandi, Professor of English, Princeton University<!--end-->

“Introduces the material in a crisp, always engaged, sometimes provocative manner … .Diverse perspectives through the rich dynamics of dialogue and debate. Highly recommended.” Choice

  • The first anthology of African literary criticism
  • Brings together key texts that are otherwise hard to locate
  • Covers all genres and critical schools
  • Provides the intellectual context for understanding African literature
  • Facilitates the future development of African literary criticism