Emerging African Voices: A Study of Contemporary African Literature

by Walter P. Collins

Description

Emerging African Voices is an excellent compendium of literary scholarship offering an assessment of the literary endeavors of the latest generation of select African writers. There exists an abundance of deft scholarship and critical analyses, even in the most recent publications by African and Western theorists, of the works of recognized African authors. However, it is sometimes difficult to access a variety of criticism for some more recent writers, those born just before, at, or just after the independence of many African nations. It seems that either almost all of the recent monographs continue to focus almost entirely on the well-established writers or they focus on one newer writer exclusively.

This volume offers insightful general analysis and critical evaluation of new writers’ works in order to showcase their contributions to the body of African literature. It examines nine contemporary writers whose works (written almost entirely in the colonial languages of English and French) in some way update and refocus African literature for the new century. The writers whose works are under discussion tackle some of the long-standing difficulties of the colonial project—assimilation, Manicheanism, and othering—in new ways while exposing the challenges and dysfunctions of a locale affected by globalization.

During the last 60 years, African literature has been dynamically shaped by African history, especially the colonial exploits of Western nations. A clear and irrefutable raison d’être for this volume is to probe the aims and intentions of these new voices. Seven chapters are devoted to writers of Nigerian descent with the balance dedicated to writers from Senegal and South Africa.

Because of the multiplicity of experiences in their geographic locations in Africa and across the Diaspora as well as their encounters and capabilities related to their place in the contemporary world, these writers continue to break new ground in African literature. Their work reflects the times and places where they live and interact, and it is for this reason that their work will permanently occupy at key place in the evolution of African literature here at the beginning of a new century almost fifty years after independence.


 

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