A project of this size and magnitude is impossible without the editorial, intellectual, and practical help of a large number of people and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following for their invaluable help. First, there is the editorial team at Routledge in London: Fiona Cairns came up with the idea for this project and was responsible for its conception and commission; as the managing editor of the project, Stephanie Rogers guided me at every stage of the project, maintaining an extensive database and communicating with contributors, in sometimes difficult circumstances, with professionalism and care; Alfred Symons shepherded the project through production; and, as copy-editor, Liz Jones turned what appeared to be a mass of fragments in cyberspace into a coherent whole. The associate editors of this project provided invaluable advice regarding their areas of expertise: without the help of Aida Bamia I would have been lost in the field of Arabic literature; Eileen Julien and Ken Harrow helped me avoid errors of fact and omission in the fields of Francophone literature; Isabel Hofmeyr and Ntongela Masilela were superb guides in expanding the range and knowledge of the different literatures of Southern Africa. In addition, Ntongela took on the task of writing several crucial entries late in the project. At the beginning of this project I set out to use the most diverse range of contributors, convinced that the best perspective of the continent's culture could best be provided by scholars spread out across the various continents in which African literature is read and taught. I would like to thank our contributors, especially those who live and work in Africa, for bringing their range of scholarship and reference to this work. I would also like to thank former and current graduate students at the University of Michigan who eagerly undertook the task of writing entries, sometimes at short notice: Apollo Amoko, Magali Compan, Neil Doshi, Rachel Gabara, Susan Gorman, Meredith Martin, Khaled Al Masri, Katarzyna (Kashia) Pieprzak, and Deborah Starr. Susan Gorman also helped with the translation of some entries from French to English. As usual, Meredith Martin provided me with exemplary research assistance. Funding in the form of a sabbatical and research funds was provided by the University of Michigan through the College of Literature Art and Sciences (LSA), the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, the Robert Hayden Collegiate Professorship, the Department of English and the Program in Comparative Literature. Finally, while individual contributors are responsible for their entries, I am solely responsible for any errors and omissions in the overall project.