Encyclopedia of African Literature

By Simon Gikandi | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Ibrāhīm,un cAllah

b. 1937, Egypt

writer and essayist

A highly respected Egyptian fiction writer and essayist, Cairo native

unc Allah Ibrāhīm began his literary career in Egyptian newspapers while a law student at Cairo University. He was imprisoned from 1959 to 1964 for his leftist political views.

Shortly thereafter, Ibrāhīm worked as a journalist in East Germany, then moved to Moscow, where he studied film-directing. Some of his novels have been translated into English, French, German, Spanish, and Chinese. Ibrāhīm's fiction is extremely experimental, constantly incorporating "non-fictional" elements into his narrative: personal letters, newspaper clips, and governmental documents. His first novel, The Smell of It (1971) (Tilka al-Rā'iha) (1966) reveals, in an autobiographical mode, the dehumanization and destructiveness of incarceration, and how the intellectual is reduced to a meek victim upon his release from prison. The political message and the explicit sexual scenes in the novel led to its banning in 1966. Najmat Aghus

us (The Star of August) (1974) is a complex work whose structure reflects the construction of the High Dam in Aswan, Egypt. In an inflexible language, the deeply alienated narrator questions the point of this technological enterprise in a sociopolitically awkward society. Written in a docufictional form, Dhāt (1992) is a condemnation of oppression and corruption in the 1980s in Egypt.

Further reading
Mehrez, Samia (1994) Egyptian Writers Between History and Fiction: Essays on Naguib Mahfouz, Sonallah Ibrahim, and Gamal al-Ghitani , Cairo: American University in Cairo Press.


Idé, Oumarou

b. 1937, Niamey, Niger; d. 2002, Niamey, Niger

politician, diplomat, and writer

Born in 1937, Oumarou Idé has attained both political and literary prominence in Niger, but he is also known for his distinguished political and diplomatic career, having served as his government's cabinet director under Seyni Kountché, as Niger's representative to the United Nations, and as the secretary general of the Organization of African Unity. His two most widely known works are the novels Gros Plan (Close-Up), which won the Grand Prix Littéraire for Francophone Africa in 1978, and Le Représentant (The Representative) (1981). Gros Plan takes place over the course of a single day and the central plot focuses upon the wrongful arrest and detention of the main character, Tahirou, a chauffeur. Focusing on diverse scenes, including the homestead and the public, political, space, Idé uses his narrative to explore the everyday problems experienced by Nigerien society as it is forced to cope with the changes brought about by indepen-


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Encyclopedia of African Literature


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 629

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?