Magazine article New Internationalist

Home and Exile

Magazine article New Internationalist

Home and Exile

Article excerpt

Now that the world's only superpower has resurrected brazen land-grab imperialism, a searching examination of colonialism from the perspective of the colonized is nothing if not timely. In Home and Exile, the great Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe examines the way imperial powers construct myths about their right to rule and appropriate the stories of those they dispossess.

In spare, precise prose Achebe mixes elements of autobiography and family history, folk tales and literary theory to produce an overview of the development of an indigenous African literature. He shows how colonialism was not merely a physical occupation of Africa but also an invasion of a cultural worldview; what he calls, `the colonization of one people's story by another'. In order to attain freedom, Africans need not only to gain political self-determination but also to `take back their own narrative' and tell their own truths in their own fashion. …

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