In CliffsNotes on Things Fall Apart, you explore the ground-breaking work of author Chinua Achebe, considered by many to be the most influential African writer of his generation. The novel, amazing in its authenticity, leaves behind the stereotypical portrayals of African life and presents the Igbo culture of Nigeria in all its remarkable complexity.
Chapter summaries and commentaries take you through Achebe's world, and critical essays give you insight into the novel's themes and use of language. Other features that help you study include Character analyses of the main characters A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters A section on the life and background of Chinua Achebe A review section that tests your knowledge A Resource Center full of books, articles, films, and Internet sites
Classic literature or modern modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
CliffsNotes on Cry, the Beloved Country takes you into a compassionately told story set in the troubled and changing South Africa in the 1940s.
Focusing on a people who are caught between two worlds -- the old with its rituals and and respect and the new with its lack of values and order -- this study guide explores a novel of social protest through character analyses and critical essays. Other features that help you figure out this important work includeProfile of the author Alan Paton's life and workHistorical background of the troubled and changing South Africa of the 1940sCharacter web and in-depth analyses of the major rolesSummaries and commentaries for each chapter within the bookReview questions and suggestions for theme topics
Classic literature or modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
Alan Paton's "Cry, the Beloved Country" (1948) is one of the most influential works of South African literature. Appearing at a time when the South African political system was being increasingly questioned, the novel drew worldwide attention to the horrors of apartheid, a political institution promoting segregation and discrimination. However, because historical and social issues figure prominently in the novel, it is sometimes difficult for modern students to understand. But because of the enduring plague of racism, it is all the more important for students to come to terms with the issues Paton raises. This book overviews Paton's novel and relates it to its social and political contexts.
The book begins with an analysis of the novel and gives attention to adaptations and films based on it. It then overviews South African history. This is followed by a selection of primary documents related to the origin of apartheid, the history and work conditions of miners, the social and economic conditions in urban and rural areas, the challenges facing South African women, and the state of post-apartheid South Africa. While the book does much to illuminate Paton's novel, it additionally helps students use the novel to explore important social concerns still present in society.
This guide to Chinua Achebe’s compelling novel offers:an accessible introduction to the text and contexts of Things Fall Apart a critical history, surveying the many interpretations of the text from publication to the present a selection of critical writing on Things Fall Apart, by Abiola Irele, Abdul JanMohamed, Biodun Jeyifo, Florence Stratton and Ato Quayson, providing a variety of perspectives on the novel and extending the coverage of key critical approaches identified in the survey section cross-references between sections of the guide, in order to suggest links between texts, contexts and criticism suggestions for further reading.
Part of the Routledge Guides to Literature series, this volume is essential reading for all those beginning detailed study of Things Fall Apart and seeking not only a guide to the novel, but a way through the wealth of contextual and critical material that surrounds Achebe’s text.
"This collection of seventy recently collected Egyptian tales is a major contribution to African studies and to international distribution studies of folktales. In the face of the recent anthropological trend to use folkloric materials for extra-folkloric purposes, the preeminence of the text must be asserted once more, and these are obviously authentic, straightforwardly translated, fully documented as to date of collection and social category of informant, and for all that . . . readable."—Daniel J. Crowley, Research in African Literatures
"Western knowledge of virtually all facets of contemporary Egyptian culture, much less the roots of that culture, is woefully inadequate. By providing an interesting, varied, and readable collection of Egyptian folktales and offering clear and sensible accounts of their background and meaning, this book renders a valuable service indeed."—Kenneth J. Perkins, International Journal of Oral History
In Kafkaesque fashion - an intriguingly symbolic and minimalist style - Ibrahim offers an unbroken first-person narrative rendered in brief, crisp prose framed by a conspicuous absence of vivid imagery. Furthermore, the petitioner is a man without identity. The ideal antihero, he remains, as does his country, unnamed throughout the intricate plot with a locale suggestive of 1970s Cairo.
The Committee sardonically pierces the inflammatory terrain between ordinary men, unbridled displays of power, and other broader concerns of the author's native Egypt. The novel's corrosive, shocking conclusion catapults satiric surrealism into a new realm.
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.
Marilyn Booth's fluid translation brings to an English audience one of the Arabic language's finest contemporary novelists. Widely celebrated in France, where she currently lives in exile (from Lebanon), Hoda Barakat writes from personal experience: her novels focus on the civil war in Lebanon and how it shaped the lives of people marginalized by the conflict. Compelling scenarios of war and its aftermath of suffering and destruction are integrated into subtle psychological portraitswith protagonists often propelled into unexpected action.
Seeking to remember language in order to revitalize it, Ngugi's quest is for wholeness. Wide-ranging, erudite, and hopeful, Something Torn and New is a cri de coeur to save Africa's cultural future.
“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.
This book is among the first to consciously acknowledge and demonstrate the rationale of applying indigenous wisdom to enhance the understanding of disciplines, theories, and practice. African proverbs and folktales express an accumulated wisdom of human relations; add dimensions to practice in ways that are soulful, respectful, practical, and socially embedded. By using African indigenous wisdom, the book contributes towards the much-needed, cross-cultural dialogue among individuals, organizations and societies in this increasingly diversified world.
Paul Jay surveys these developments, highlighting key debates within literary and cultural studies about the impact of globalization over the past two decades. Global Matters provides a concise, informative overview of theoretical, critical, and curricular issues driving the transnational turn in literary studies and how these issues have come to dominate contemporary global fiction as well. Through close, imaginative readings Jay analyzes the intersecting histories of colonialism, decolonization, and globalization engaged by an array of texts from Africa, Europe, South Asia, and the Americas, including Zadie Smith's White Teeth, Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss, Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things, Vikram Chandra's Red Earth and Pouring Rain, Mohsin Hamid's Moth Smoke, and Zakes Mda's The Heart of Redness.
A timely intervention in the most exciting debates within literary studies, Global Matters is a comprehensive guide to the transnational nature of Anglophone literature today and its relationship to the globalization of Western culture.
Interest in the history and culture of the Arab world at U.S. universities has taken a quantum leap since the events of September 11, 2001. In this book, the author demonstrates that at least three major, distinct literary and cultural traditions are included within the fields of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies--Arabic, Persian, and Turkic. The Arabic tradition is the oldest, largest, and most widely dispersed. Undergraduate courses in Arabic literature and culture are now being taught at both lower- and upper-levels at many universities. Such courses are often used by undergraduates to fulfill basic educational requirements for their degrees. Students in such courses often have difficulty finding information on Arab writers, and this volume fills the void.
Using an interdisciplinary method that combines history, literary theory, cultural studies, anthropology, folklore, and philosophy, the book examines the work of Pan-African trickster icons, such as Leuk (Rabbit), Golo (Monkey), Bouki (Hyena), Mbe (Tortoise), and Anancy (Spider), on the resistance strategies of early black writers who were exposing the evils of slavery, racism, sexism, economic exploitation, and other forms of oppression.
Works discussed in this book include Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773), Quobna Ottobah Cugoano's Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery (1787), Olaudah Equiano's The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1795), Elizabeth Hart Thwaites's "History of Methodism" (1804), Anne Hart Gilbert's "History of Methodism" (1804), and Mary Prince's The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave, Related By Herself (1831). Analyzing these writings in the context of the black Atlantic struggle for freedom, The Trickster Comes West relocates the beginnings of Pan-Africanism and suggests the strong influence of its theories of communal resistance, racial solidarity, and economic development on pioneering black narratives.
This guide to Gordimer's compelling novel offers:an accessible introduction to the text and contexts of July's People a critical history, surveying the many interpretations of the text from publication to the present a selection of new and reprinted critical essays on July's People, providing a range of perspectives on the novel and extending the coverage of key approaches identified in the critical survey cross-references between sections of the guide, in order to suggest links between texts, contexts and criticism suggestions for further reading.
Part of the Routledge Guides to Literature series, this volume is essential reading for all those beginning detailed study of July's People and seeking not only a guide to the novel, but a way through the wealth of contextual and critical material that surrounds Gordimer's text.
For the first time, readings of Moroccan travel writing in Arabic are juxtaposed with French and British writing about Morocco in a critical exploration of nineteenth-century concepts of modernity. Ahmed Idrissi Alami investigates the complex dynamics concerning colonial expansion, military conflict, and societal values. Mutual Othering sets out to rethink generally accepted concepts of European modernity by critically examining its production and contestation within a subaltern context in which the native other—in this case, religious scholars or imams accompanying political missions to Paris and London—presents aspects of European culture to elite members of the Moroccan imperial court. This work also connects the arguments of these texts to the rethinking of tradition and modernity, the rhetoric of reform, democracy and the Arab state, and the compatibility of Islam with the West and secular values in the post-9/11 world. The inclusion of citations in the original French and Arabic, alongside English translations, allows a range of readers to enjoy this critical addition to the fields of literature, travel writing, North African studies, history, international relations, and philosophy, as well as cultural and religious studies.
The introductory essay provides a general analysis of the key issues facing the publication of children's books in postcolonial Africa-issues of national identity, language, appropriate genres, and relevant themes to inculcate a nationalistic outlook in children and young adults. The chapters that follow are located within this broad framework and are written by expert contributors. While these essays reflect the scholarly interests and specialization of each author, they also span the entire field of African children's literature. The first group of chapters surveys African children's literature from a variety of angles and explores such topics as literacy and the publishing culture in Africa, the role and importance of awards, Nigerian young adult literature, and the relevance of folktales. The book then turns to a discussion of books about Africa written by Western authors for Western readers, which often project values and perspectives that betray a continuing colonial bias. The last part of the book examines more specialized themes and concerns.
Central to Conrad's work is the idea that there is little difference between so-called civilised people and those described as savages; Heart of Darkness raises important questions about imperialism and racism.
Originally published as a three-part serial story in Blackwood's Magazine, the novella Heart of Darkness has been variously published and translated into many languages. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Heart of Darkness as the sixty-seventh of the hundred best novels in English of the twentieth century.
Constituting an intellectual history of the humanities in the late twentieth century from an African intellectual’s point of view, The Mudimbe Reader provides an introduction and a comprehensive bibliography that frame four thematic gatherings of Mudimbe’s writings. Part 1 bears witness to Mudimbe’s attempts, as a university professor in the new nation-state of Zaire, to balance the postindependence discourse of authenticity with his training in Western philosophy and philology. Part 2 focuses on Mudimbe’s exploration of racial, ethnic, and religious discourses to reflect upon postcolonialism in Zaire and in the United States. In the third part, Mudimbe interrogates ancient Greek and Latin texts as a strategy to engage the legacy of antiquity for European and African modernity. Finally, the book concludes by focusing on visual culture and Mudimbe’s recurring attempt to elucidate how African "primitiveness" has been constructed, challenged, dismissed, and reinvented from the Renaissance to the present day.
This Reader's Guide enables students to navigate the rich and bewildering field of Achebe criticism, setting out the key areas of critical debate, the most influential alternative approaches to his work and the controversies that have so often surrounded it. The Guide examines Achebe's key novels - with the main focus on Things Fall Apart - and also discusses his less well-known short fiction. Including discussion of important Nigerian scholarship that is often inaccessible, this is an invaluable introduction to the work of one of Africa's most important and popular writers.
Roughly in the year 1705, a young African boy, acquired from the seraglio of the Turkish sultan, was transported to Russia as a gift to Peter the Great. This child, later known as Abram Petrovich Gannibal, was to become Peter's godson and to live to a ripe old age, having attained the rank of general and the status of Russian nobility. More important, he was to become the great-grandfather of Russia's greatest national poet, Alexander Pushkin. It is the contention of the editors of this book, borne out by the essays in the collection, that Pushkin's African ancestry has played the role of a "wild card" of sorts as a formative element in Russian cultural mythology; and that the ways in which Gannibal's legacy has been included in or excluded from Pushkin's biography over the last two hundred years can serve as a shifting marker of Russia's self-definition.
The first single volume in English on this rich topic, Under the Sky of My Africa addresses the wide variety of interests implicated in the question of Pushkin's blackness-race studies, politics, American studies, music, mythopoetic criticism, mainstream Pushkin studies. In essays that are by turns biographical, iconographical, cultural, and sociological in focus, the authors-representing a broad range of disciplines and perspectives-take us from the complex attitudes toward race in Russia during Pushkin's era to the surge of racism in late Soviet and post-Soviet contemporary Russia. In sum, Under the Sky of My Africa provides a wealth of basic material on the subject as well as a series of provocative readings and interpretations that will influence future considerations of Pushkin and race in Russian culture.