Don Burness teaches English at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire.
Listed in: Poetry · African Studies · African Literature · Education · Literary Studies
This volume presents a broad overview of the work of seven of Africa’s leading poets. Five of them have received international recognition: Niyi Osundare and Chinua Achebe, the Commonwealth Poetry Prize; Osundare and Antonio Jacinto, the Noma Prize; and Jose Craveirinha, the Camoes Prize. The poems concern political, personal, and social themes and are written with aesthetic simplicity and lyricism.
There is a tendency to regard African literature as a homogenous product. Certainly it is true that African writers have created a vibrant, modern literature. Nevertheless, they come from specific societies and reflect vastly differing worlds. Wanasema attempts to show some of the many faces of African literature. Dramatists, poets and novelists speak in these pages. They write in French, English, Portuguese, Arabic and indigenous languages. Some are Christian; others are Muslim.
“…The best of Wanasema’s conversations…illuminate the Burness approach, in which what we get is…a sense of immediacy and engagement, a feeling of the liveliness of the social and artistic energies that come together to make the writer and his or her work become what they do become…Wanasema thus contributes to the growing body of archival material out of which a richly textured biographical, textual, and literary history of African literatures can eventually be written. The Burness conversations are very much recommended both in and of themselves and for the variety that they bring to a continuing understanding of the varieties of African experiences.”
L.A. Johnson, Choice