The Columbia Guide to West African Literature in English Since 1945

The Columbia Guide to West African Literature in English Since 1945

Oyekan Owomoyela
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    The Columbia Guide to West African Literature in English Since 1945
    Book Description:

    Composed by a premier scholar of African literature, this volume is a comprehensive guide to the literary traditions of Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria, five distinct countries bound by their experience with colonialism. Oyekan Owomoyela begins with an overview of the authors, texts, and historical events that have shaped the development of postwar Anglophone literatures in this region, exploring shifts in theme and the role of foreign sponsorship and illuminating recent debates regarding the language, identity, gender, and social commitments of various authors and their works. His introduction concludes with a bibliography of key critical texts.

    The second half of the volume is an alphabetical tour of writers, publications, concepts, genres, movements, and institutions, with suggested readings for further research. Entries focus primarily on fiction but also touch on drama and poetry. Featured authors include Chris Abani, Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Cyprian Ekwensi, Uzodinma Chukuka Iweala, Helen Oyeyemi, and Wole Soyinka. Topics range from the European origins of African literature and the West African diaspora to the development of an "African personality," the establishment of a regional publishing industry, and the global literary marketplace. Owomoyela also discusses such influences as the postwar emergence of Onitsha Market Literature, the Mbari Club, and the importance of the Noma Award.

    Owomoyela's portrait points to the major impact of West African literature on the evolution of both African and world literatures in English. Sure to become the definitive text for research in the field, The Columbia Guide to West African Literature in English Since 1945 is a vital resource for newcomers as well as for advanced scholars seeking a deeper understanding of the region's rich literary heritage.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-51215-2
    Subjects: Language & Literature, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[x])
  3. PART ONE The Literary and Cultural Context of West African Literature in English
    (pp. 1-50)

    This book aims to provide readers with a general background and a reliable reference source for West African literature written in the English language since 1945. The approach of the Columbia Guide to West African Literature in English Since 1945, combining language, geography, and history, is unique. It offers an overview of the development of post-1945 Anglophone West African writing, its formative influences as well as those that have impinged on it, and bibliographical and biographical information on the writers. The countries covered are The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. As should be expected, they do not receive...

  4. PART TWO West African Literature A–Z
    (pp. 51-182)

    Abani, Christopher (1966– ) Chris Abani was born in Afikpo in southeastern Nigeria on December 27, 1966. He was raised Catholic and spent a brief period early in his youth in a seminary preparing to become a priest against the wishes of his family, but at twelve he was asked to leave because he did not seem to have a priestly aptitude. His early education was in Nigeria, and in its course Abani repeatedly ran afoul of the military regimes that were in power at the time, getting arrested and thrown in jail, once even on death row, for his...

  5. PART THREE Writers and Selected Works
    (pp. 183-194)
  6. Index
    (pp. 195-206)