The Conscript depicts, with irony and controlled anger, the staggering experiences of the Eritrean ascari, soldiers conscripted to fight in Libya by the Italian colonial army against the nationalist Libyan forces fighting for their freedom from Italy’s colonial rule. Anticipating midcentury thinkers Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire, Hailu paints a devastating portrait of Italian colonialism. Some of the most poignant passages of the novel include the awakening of the novel’s hero, Tuquabo, to his ironic predicament of being both under colonial rule and the instrument of suppressing the colonized Libyans.
The novel’s remarkable descriptions of the battlefield awe the reader with mesmerizing images, both disturbing and tender, of the Libyan landscape—with its vast desert sands, oases, horsemen, foot soldiers, and the brutalities of war—uncannily recalled in the satellite images that were brought to the homes of millions of viewers around the globe in 2011, during the country’s uprising against its former leader, Colonel Gaddafi.
Step Across This Line showcases the other side of one of fiction’s most astonishing conjurors. On display is Salman Rushdie’s incisive, thoughtful and generous mind, in prose that is as entertaining as it is topical. The world is here, captured in pieces on a dazzling array of subjects: from New York’s Amadou Diallo case to the Wizard of Oz, from U2 to fifty years of Indian writing, from a tribute to Angela Carter to the struggle to film Midnight’s Children. The title essay was originally delivered at Yale as the 2002 Tanner lecture on human values, and examines the changing meaning of frontiers in the modern world -- moral and metaphorical frontiers as well as physical ones.
The collection chronicles Rushdie’s intellectual journeys, but it is also an intimate invitation into his life: he explores his relationship to India through a moving diary of his first visit there in over a decade, “A Dream of Glorious Return.” Step Across This Line also includes “Messages From the Plague Years,” a historic set of letters, articles and reflections on life under the fatwa. Gathered together for the first time, this is Rushdie’s humane, intelligent and angry response to a grotesque threat, aimed not just at him but at free expression itself.
Step Across This Line, Salman Rushdie’s first collection of non-fiction in a decade, has the same energy, imagination and erudition as his astounding novels -- along with some very strong opinions.
From the Hardcover edition.
Chinua Achebe’s characteristically eloquent and nuanced voice is everywhere present in these seventeen beautifully written pieces. From a vivid portrait of growing up in colonial Nigeria to considerations on the African-American Diaspora, from a glimpse into his extraordinary family life and his thoughts on the potent symbolism of President Obama’s elections—this charmingly personal, intellectually disciplined, and steadfastly wise collection is an indispensable addition to the remarkable Achebe oeuvre.
Edited by Ali A. Mazrui, Patrick M. Dikirr, Robert Ostergard Jr., Michael Toler & Paul Macharia
This volume is rich in historic surprises about the fortunes of Islam in African experience, Islam first arrived in African while the Prophet Muhammad, the Founder of the religion, was still alive, Ethiopia provided asylum to early Arab Muslims on the run from persecution by fellow Arabs in pre-Islamic Mecca, Today Nigeria has more Muslims than any Arab country, including Egypt.
This volume explores not just Islam's impact upon Africa but also Africa's impact on Muslim history. The book explores the geographical expansion of the religion, the revival of ancient Muslim rituals, and the politicization and radicalization of Islam in both colonial and pre-colonial Africa.
Is Islam compatible with democracy? Can African Islam peacefully coexist with Christianity? How has Islam in Africa influenced architecture, Literature, race relations, gender relation, and cultural interpenetrations between Arabs and Black Africans? In this era of globalization is Islam a positive vanguard force or a trigger for parochialism and backward-looking nostalgia? In this era of terrorism and counter-terrorism can Islam be mobilized as a force for stability or has the religion been irretrievably hijacked by its own worst radicals?
This volume does not try to answer all the questions, but it helps to lay the basic groundwork for understanding Islam much better in this new age.
Vimbai is the best hairdresser in Mrs. Khumalo’s salon, and she is secure in her status until the handsome, smooth-talking Dumisani shows up one day for work. Despite her resistance, the two become friends, and eventually, Vimbai becomes Dumisani’s landlady. He is as charming as he is deft with the scissors, and Vimbai finds that he means more and more to her. Yet, by novel’s end, the pair’s deepening friendship—used or embraced by Dumisani and Vimbai with different futures in mind—collapses in unexpected brutality.
The novel is an acute portrayal of a rapidly changing Zimbabwe. In addition to Vimbai and Dumisani’s personal development, the book shows us how social concerns shape the lives of everyday people.
The stories in Your Madness, Not Mine are about postcolonial Cameroon, but especially about Cameroonian women, who probe their day-to-day experiences of survival and empowerment as they deal with gender oppression: from patriarchal expectations to the malaise of maldevelopment, unemployment, and the attraction of the West for young Cameroonians.
Makuchi has given us powerful portraits of the people of postcolonial Africa in the so-called global village who too often go unseen and unheard.
In this volume, Ngugi wa Thiong’o summarizes and develops a cross-section of the issues he has grappled with in his work, which deploys a strategy of imagery, language, folklore, and character to "decolonize the mind." Ngugi confronts the politics of language in African writing; the problem of linguistic imperialism and literature's ability to resist it; the difficult balance between orality, or "orature," and writing, or "literature"; the tension between national and world literature; and the role of the literary curriculum in both reaffirming and undermining the dominance of the Western canon. Throughout, he engages a range of philosophers and theorists writing on power and postcolonial creativity, including Hegel, Marx, Lévi-Strauss, and Aimé Césaire. Yet his explorations remain grounded in his own experiences with literature (and orature) and reworks the difficult dialectics of theory into richly evocative prose.
Representing the very best of African creative nonfiction, Safe House brings together works from Africa's contemporary literary greats. In a collection that ranges from travel writing and memoir to reportage and meditative essays, editor Ellah Wakatama Allfrey has brought together some of the most talented writers of creative nonfiction from across Africa.
This creative nonfiction single from the Safe House anthology is poet Neema Komba's memoir of her visit to an ancestral landmark in Tanzania.
The memory of each is subject to certain lapses, whether selective or genuine. Even when they agree on the facts — be they acts of love, of betrayal, or of violence — each narrator shapes the story in his or her own way, by what is left in and what is left out, by what is remembered and what is forgotten.
James Kilgore brings an authentic voice to a work of youthful hope, disillusionment, and unsettling resolution.
Coming at a time when Africa and African writers are in the midst of a remarkable renaissance, Gods and Soldiers captures the vitality and urgency of African writing today. With stories from northern Arabic-speaking to southern Zulu-speaking writers, this collection conveys thirty different ways of approaching what it means to be African. Whether about life in the new urban melting pots of Cape Town and Luanda, or amid the battlefield chaos of Zimbabwe and Somalia, or set in the imaginary surreal landscapes born out of the oral storytelling tradition, these stories represent a striking cross section of extraordinary writing. Including works by J. M. Coetzee, Chimamanda Adichie, Nuruddin Farah, Binyavanga Wainaina, and Chinua Achebe, and edited by Rob Spillman of Tin House magazine, Gods and Soldiers features many pieces never before published, making it a vibrant and essential glimpse of Africa as it enters the twenty-first century.
Reminiscent of some of the greatest child narrators in literature, Azure’s voice will stay with the reader long after this short novel is finished. Based on personal experiences, Thirteen Cents is Duiker’s debut novel, originally published in 2000.
This first edition to be published outside South Africa includes an introduction by Shaun Viljoen and a special glossary of South African words and phrases from the text translated into English.
Shaun Viljoen is a Professor in the English Department at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and the author of a forthcoming biography of the writer Richard Rive.
Contributors include internationally recognized authors and activists such as Wangari Maathai and Nawal El Saadawi, as well as a host of vibrant new voices from all over the African continent and from the African diaspora. Interdisciplinary in scope, this collection provides an excellent introduction to contemporary African women’s literature and highlights social issues that are particular to Africa but are also of worldwide concern. It is an essential reference for students of African studies, world literature, anthropology, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, and women’s studies. A Choice Outstanding Academic Book
Outstanding Book, selected by the Public Library Association
Best Books for High Schools, Best Books for Special Interests, and Best Books for Professional Use, selected by the American Association of School Libraries
Raucous and darkly humorous, Dog Eat Dog is narrated by Dingamanzi Makhedama Njomane, a college student in South Africa who spends his days partying, skipping class, and picking up girls. But Dingz, as he is known to his friends, is living in charged times, and his discouraging college life plays out against the backdrop of South Africa’s first democratic elections, the spread of AIDS, and financial difficulties that threaten to force him out of school.
With black-and-white drawings throughout
Part of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library
“Blazes a new trail in Africana literary criticism by providing an insight into the soul and spirit of Africana womanhood.”--Anthonia Kalu, The Ohio State University, author of Women, Literature, and Development in Africa
This is the revised and expanded edition of Teresa N. Washington's groundbreaking book Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts: Manifestations of Aje in Africana Literature.
In Yoruba language and culture, Aje signifies both a phenomenal spiritual power and the human beings who exercise that power. Aje is the birthright of Africana women who are revered as the Gods of Society. While Africana men can have Aje, its owners and controllers are Africana women. Because it is an African female power, and due to its invisibility, ubiquity, and profundity, Aje is often maligned as witchcraft. However, as Teresa N. Washington reveals in Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts, Aje is central to the Yoruba ethos, worldview, and cosmology. Not only is it essential to human creation and artistic creativity, but as a force of justice and retribution, Aje is vital to social harmony and balance.
Washington analyzes forms, figures, and forces of Aje in the Yoruba world, in the Caribbean Islands, in Latin America, and in African America. Washington's research reveals that with the exile and enslavement of millions of Africans, Aje became a global force and an essential ally in organizing insurrections, soothing shattered souls, and reminding the dispossessed of their inherent divinity.
From her in-depth exploration of Aje in Pan-African history and orature, Washington guides readers through rich analyses of the symbolic, methodological, and spiritual manifestations of Aje that are central to important works by Africana writers but are rarely elucidated by Western criticism. Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts includes innovative readings of works by many Africana writers, including Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Ben Okri, Wole Soyinka, Jamaica Kincaid, and Ntozake Shange.
This revised and expanded edition of Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts will appeal to scholars of Africana literature, African religion and philosophy, gender studies, and comparative literature. Devotees of Africana spiritual systems will find this book to be indispensable.
Viljoen’s biography illuminates the brief and dramatic life of Jonker, who created a literary oeuvre — as searing in its intensity as it is brief — before taking her own life at the age of thirty-one. Jonker wrote against a background of escalating apartheid laws, violent repression of black political activists, and the banning of the African National Congress and the Pan Africanist Congress. Viljoen tells the story of Ingrid Jonker in the political and cultural context of her time, provides sensitive insights into her poetry, and considers the reasons for the enduring fascination with her life and death.
Her writings, her association with bohemian literary circles, and her identification with the oppressed brought her into conflict with her father, a politician in the white ruling party, and with other authority figures from her Afrikaner background. Her life and work demonstrate the difficulty and importance of artistic endeavor in a place of terrible conflict.
Ho describes the separate journeys her parents took before they knew one another, each leaving China and Hong Kong around the early 1960s, arriving in South Africa as illegal immigrants. Her father eventually became a so-called “fahfee man,” running a small-time numbers game in the black townships, one of the few opportunities available to him at that time. In loving detail, Ho describes her father’s work habits: the often mysterious selection of numbers at the kitchen table, the carefully-kept account ledgers, and especially the daily drives into the townships, where he conducted business on street corners from the seat of his car. Sometimes Ufrieda accompanied him on these township visits, offering her an illuminating perspective into a stratified society. Poignantly, it was on such a visit that her father—who is very much a central figure in Ho’s memoir—met with a tragic end.
In many ways, life for the Chinese in South Africa was self-contained. Working hard, minding the rules, and avoiding confrontations, they were able to follow traditional Chinese ways. But for Ufrieda, who was born in South Africa, influences from the surrounding culture crept into her life, as did a political awakening. Paper Sons and Daughters is a wonderfully told family history that will resonate with anyone having an interest in the experiences of Chinese immigrants, or perhaps any immigrants, the world over.
publications over the past fifty years have centered on investigations of the
ways in which texts represent both themselves and their situations of utterance.
The thirteen chapters of the present book illustrate the range of his inquiry
across several cultures and disciplines. They also demonstrate the interpretive
richness, the theoretical acumen, and the energetic prose that characterize the
work of one of America's premier "close readers."
Situated Utterances is divided into four parts. In Part One Berger designs an
analytical model of New Criticism and shows how it was dismantled during the
decades after the Second World War. He then proposes a reconstructed model in
which the practice of ironic and suspicious "close reading" may be directed toward
interactions among bodies, texts, and countertexts in different cultural settings.
Part Two demonstrates this practice in studies of specific works in three genres:
the pastoral Idylls of Theocritus, Edmund Spenser's epic, The Faerie Queene, and
the Diaries of Samuel Pepys. The scope of the practice is broadened in Part Three
to the connection between cultural representations and institutional change, a
connection explored in four chapters that successively examine precapitalist
forms of representation, the Old Testament, Beowulf, and the conflict between
nakedness and nudity in Christian conceptions of the body. Part Four consists
in three chapters on Plato's dialogues, which Berger interprets as critical of the
general situation of utterance in a predominantly oral culture. He argues that
Plato uses the resources of writing to depict the heroic pathos of a Socrates whose
method and message are defeated by the politics of the oral medium.
Situated Utterances concludes with "A Conspectus of Critical Moves:
The Eleven-Step Program." This is a summary account of the interpretive
strategies put into play by the author throughout his long career.
The collection of thirty-four folktales of the Beba showcases a wide variety of stories that capture the richness and complexities of an agrarian society’s oral literature and traditions. Revenge, greed, and deception are among the themes that frame the story lines in both new and familiar ways. In the title story, a poor man finds himself elevated to king. The condition for his continued success is that he not open the sacred door. This tale of temptation, similar to the story of Pandora’s box, concludes with the question, “What would you have done?”
Makuchi relates the stories her mother told her so that readers can make connections between African and North American oral narrative traditions. These tales reinforce the commonalities of our human experiences without discounting our differences.
This makes it a special year for the Port Harcourt Book Festival, which will be in its seventh year, and bigger than ever. They are joining forces with the internationally renowned Hay Festival, which will bring to Port Harcourt its 39 Project-a competition to identify the thirty-nine most promising young talents under the age of forty in sub-Saharan Africa and the diaspora. It follows the success of Bogotá 39 in 2007 and Beirut 39 in 2010. Both recognized a number of authors who now have international profiles: in Bogotá, Adriana Lisboa, Alejandro Zambra, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Daniel Alarcón, and Junot Díaz; in Beirut, Randa Jarrar, Joumana Haddad, Abdellah Taia, Samar Yazbek, and Faiza Guene. In Nigeria this year, the esteemed judges include leading-edge publisher Margaret Busby; novelist and playwright Elechi Amadi,writer and scholar Osonye Tess Onwueme, and Caine Prize winner Binyavanga Wainaina.
For the second time, Bloomsbury is honored to be a part of the festivities, publishing worldwide Africa39-a collection of brand new work from these talented thirty-nine.
With an introduction by Wole Soyinka, Africa39 is a must-read for anyone curious about Africa today and Africa tomorrow, as envisioned through the eyes of its brightest literary stars.
Rising Anthills (the title refers to a Dogon myth) analyzes works in English, French, and Arabic by African and African American writers, both women and men, from different parts of the African continent and the diaspora. Attending closely to the nuances of language and the complexities of the issue, Bekers explores lesser-known writers side by side with such recognizable names as Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Flora Nwapa, Nawal El Saadawi, Ahmadou Kourouma, Calixthe Beyala, Alice Walker, and Gloria Naylor. Following their literary discussions of female genital excision, she discerns a gradual evolution—from the 1960s, when writers mindful of its communal significance carefully “wrote around” the physical operation, through the 1970s and 1980s, when they began to speak out against the practice and their societies’ gender politics, to the late 1990s, when they situated their denunciations of female genital excision in a much broader, international context of women’s oppression and the struggle for women’s rights.
The 2012 collection will include the five shortlisted stories and the stories written at the Caine Prize Writers' Workshop. It will be published to coincide with the announcement of the award in July 2012.
The history of Zimbabwe has always been reflected in its oral and written literature. Much of the serious fiction written in the 1980s and early 1990s focused on the effects of Zimbabwe’s war of liberation. Little has yet been written about post-independence Zimbabwe and the complex and challenging issues that have arisen in the last twenty years. This anthology of twenty-two short stories provides a representative sample of the range and quality of writing in Zimbabwe at the turn of the century, and an impressionistic reflection of the years since independence in 1980.
Included are stories by established writers Shimmer Chinodya, Charles Mungoshi, Brian Chikwava; and some younger or less established writers, Clement Chihota, Wonder Guchu, Chiedza Musengezi, Mary Ndlovu, Vivienne Ndlovu and Stanley Nyamfukudza. The collection also reflects a slightly broader perspective with stories by Alexandra Fuller, Derek Huggins, Pat Brickhill and Chris Wilson, who engage with historical memory of the conflicts out of which Zimbabwe arose, and the lessons to be drawn from living within a culture other than one’s own. Overall, the anthology reaffirms the persistent value attached to imaginative writing in Zimbabwe, and illustrates that the country’s literary tradition is alive and well, and reshaping itself for new times.
Age-old fables explain why the leopard has no friends, how wild dogs became domesticated, and why pigs dig. Adventure stories recount a prince's quest for an ancient ivory horn and the struggles of two sisters, separated by slavery, to reunite. All of the stories are populated by memorable characters such as a greedy monkey and ambitious ants, a pair of crickets forced to sing for their supper, a couple of fishermen who compete for a bride, and the Man-in-the-Moon and his wife.
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.