The Columbia Guide to East African Literature in English Since 1945

The Columbia Guide to East African Literature in English Since 1945

Simon Gikandi
Evan Mwangi
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    The Columbia Guide to East African Literature in English Since 1945
    Book Description:

    The Columbia Guide to East African Literature in English Since 1945 challenges the conventional belief that the English-language literary traditions of East Africa are restricted to the former British colonies of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Instead, these traditions stretch far into such neighboring countries as Somalia and Ethiopia.

    Simon Gikandi and Evan Mwangi assemble a truly inclusive list of major writers and trends. They begin with a chronology of key historical events and an overview of the emergence and transformation of literary culture in the region. Then they provide an alphabetical list of major writers and brief descriptions of their concerns and achievements.

    Some of the writers discussed include the Kenyan novelists Grace Ogot and Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Ugandan poet and essayist Taban Lo Liyong, Ethiopian playwright and poet Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin, Tanzanian novelist and diplomat Peter Palangyo, Ethiopian novelist Berhane Mariam Sahle-Sellassie, and the novelist M. G. Vassanji, who portrays the Indian diaspora in Africa, Europe, and North America.

    Separate entries within this list describe thematic concerns, such as colonialism, decolonization, the black aesthetic, and the language question; the growth of genres like autobiography and popular literature; important movements like cultural nationalism and feminism; and the impact of major forces such as AIDS/HIV, Christian missions, and urbanization.

    Comprehensive and richly detailed, this guide offers a fresh perspective on the role of East Africa in the development of African and world literature in English and a new understanding of the historical, cultural, and geopolitical boundaries of the region.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50064-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
    Simon Gikandi
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Chronology of Major Political Events
    (pp. xiii-xxiv)
  6. Introduction: East African Literature in English from 1945 to the Present
    (pp. 1-22)
    Simon Gikandi

    There is a close relation between the major historical developments in East Africa during the period covered by this guide and the nature of the literary tradition that has emerged, often in response to major historical and cultural events, in the region. But in providing a context for the emergence of East African literature in English from World War II to the present day, it is important to refer to events further back in time, especially to the period from the late nineteenth century to what has come to be known as the late colonial period, because it was during...

  7. Authors and Topics A–Z
    (pp. 23-178)

    AIDS/HIV Sub-Saharan Africa is the area of the world worst hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. By 2001, 15 percent of Kenya’s population was HIV-positive, Tanzania had a 7.8 percent infection rate, and the prevalence in Uganda was 5 percent. Eastern African literature has changed in response to the AIDS scourge, even if it at times uses the disease merely as a metaphor for what is wrong with postcolonial society. The toll of the pandemic on the general population and the mystery surrounding the disease have been the subjects of plays, novels, poetry, and oral literature from the region. AIDS has...

  8. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 179-182)
  9. Index
    (pp. 183-194)