The Columbia Guide to East African Literature in English Since 1945
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
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
Subjects: Language & Literature, History
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