Multicultural Writers since 1945: An A-to-Z Guide

Multicultural Writers since 1945: An A-to-Z Guide

Multicultural Writers since 1945: An A-to-Z Guide

Multicultural Writers since 1945: An A-to-Z Guide


The end of World War II led to increased interest in multicultural concerns and a flourishing of literary and artistic endeavors. It was also a time of decolonization and the emergence of new nations and cultures clamoring for recognition and respect. The political circumstances following World War II exposed many people to other cultures. This reference discusses the experiences of writers active since 1945 who were shaped by cultures other than their own.


The Epicurean philosopher Philodemus of Gadara (first century B.C.E.) exhorts us to “save one another,” thus providing an aphorism for a multicultural approach to literature and culture. Broadening our understanding of and compassion for foreigners and their mores may enhance our understanding of ourselves with respect to others (Gnisci and Sinopoli, eds., Letteratura comparata, 213–14).



Contemporary African literature, straddling diverse social, cultural, religious, and political convictions, in the end crystallizes as a literary search for the African author’s own identity. Some African writers (Sembene Ousmane, b. 1923; Ngūgī wa Thiong’o, b. 1938) relate the rise of national consciousness in Africa to World War II, when Africans fought side by side with whites against fascism, xenophobia, and racism, and realized that blacks and whites had similar qualities and defects (Jameson and Miyoshi, eds., The Cultures of Globalization, 114).

The “New African literature” emerged around 1960 concomitantly with the acquisition of independence by many African states. African writers, shifting from oral to written texts, used the former colonizers’ linguae francae to replace their own spoken tribal languages. The Nigerian author Chinua Achebe (b. 1930) focuses on the importance of the linking language that permitted separate linguistic communities to communicate. The Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah (b. 1945), who went into

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