Postcolonial African Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook

Postcolonial African Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook

Postcolonial African Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook

Postcolonial African Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook

Synopsis

Postcolonial African writers have made enormous contributions to world literature. This reference book overviews their lives and works. The volume includes alphabetically arranged profiles for some 60 postcolonial African writers, including Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Buchi Emecheta, Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Doris Lessing, Peter Nazareth, Gabriel Okara, Femi Osofisan, and Efua Theodora Sutherland. Each entry includes a brief biography, a discussion of major works and themes that appear in the author's writings, an overview of the critical response to the author's works, and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. The volume begins with an introductory essay on postcolonial criticism and African writing, and it concludes with a selected, general bibliography of seminal critical studies.

Excerpt

This Introduction aims at raising various compelling and significant issues related to the expression, production, publication, and distribution of African literary writing and to critical discourses that have constructed models for interpretive approaches to and/or theoretical frameworks for these writings. In the first section, Pushpa Naidu Parekh considers the viability of applying emerging critical concepts and theoretical models being discussed and debated within the field of postcolonial theory to postcolonial African writers. Reconsidering the tendencies to reinscribe the separation of theory and practice and to privilege critical discourse, Parekh provides a detailed look at the ways in which theory informs practice and practice directs or even determines theory. In order to do this, she identifies certain conceptual paradigms constructed at specific moments of colonial and postcolonial sociohistorical and political cli mates in specific postindependence African states, as discussed in the various scholarly entries of the sourcebook. She also raises crucial issues related to the theory and practice of postcolonial African writing as ev idenced in the collected entries. In the second section, Siga Fatima Jagne provides critical reflections on certain definitions regarding the category “woman” in feminist theory and its relation to African women. By call ing into question the simplified conflation of various issues such as class, race, and sexual orientation, as well as nationality, Jagne begins her arguments regarding the category “woman” in the African context by identifying the specific and often contradictory locations occupied by specific women in and outside the literary field.

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