Bafana Kuzwayo is a young man with a weight on his shoulders. After flunking his law studies at the University of Cape Town, he returns home to Soweto, where he must decide how to break the news to his family. But before he can confess, he is greeted as a hero by family and friends. His uncle calls him “Advo,” short for Advocate, and his mother wastes no time recruiting him to solve their legal problems.
There are many collections of African oral traditions, but few as carefully organized as The Uncoiling Python. Harold Scheub, one of the world’s leading scholars of African oral traditions and folklore, explores the ways in which oral traditions have served to combat and subvert colonial domination in South Africa.
The Twelve Best Books by African Women is a collection of critical essays on eleven works of fiction and one play, an important but belated affirmation of women writers on the continent and a first step toward establishing a recognized canon of African women’s literature.
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart provided the impetus for the foundation of Heinemann’s African Writers Series in 1962 with Achebe as the editorial adviser. Africa Writes Back presents portraits of the leading characters and the many consultants and readers providing reports and advice to new and established writers.
The Sacred Door and Other Stories: Cameroon Folktales of the Beba offers readers a selection of folktales infused with riddles, proverbs, songs, myths, and legends, using various narrative techniques that capture the vibrancy of Beba oral traditions. Makuchi retells the stories that she heard at home when she was growing up in her native Cameroon.
Africa is a marriage of cultures: African and Asian, Islamic and Euro-Christian. Nowhere is this fusion more evident than in the formation of Swahili, Eastern Africa’s lingua franca, and its cultures. Swahili beyond the Boundaries: Literature, Language, and Identity addresses the moving frontiers of Swahili literature under the impetus of new waves of globalization in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Rewriting Modernity: Studies in Black South African Literary History connects the black literary archive in South Africa to international postcolonial studies via the theory of transculturation, a position adapted from the Cuban anthropologist Fernando Ortiz.
J. M. Coetzee and the Idea of the Public Intellectual addresses the contribution Coetzee has made to contemporary literature, not least for the contentious forays his work makes into South African political discourse and the field of postcolonial studies.
In her startling collection of short stories, Broken Lives and Other Stories, Anthonia C. Kalu creates a series of memorable characters who struggle to hold displaced but dynamic communities together in a country that is at war with itself. Broken Lives and Other Stories presents a portrait of the ordinary women, children, and men whose lives have been battered by war in their homeland.
There is currently in Madagascar a rich literary production (short stories, poetry, novels, plays) that has not yet reached the United States for lack of diffusion outside the country. Until recently, Madagascar suffered from political isolation resulting from its breakup with France in the 1970s and the eighteen years of Marxism that followed.
Ghanaian novelist, essayist, and short-story writer Ayi Kwei Armah has won international recognition as one of Africa’s most articulate writers. In this book, Ode Ogede argues that previous critics have misinterpreted the aesthetic and literary influences that have shaped Armah’s artistic vision and overlooked his most significant and valuable contribution to the problems of writing “outside the prison-house of conventional English.”
Nigerian video films—dramatic features shot on video and sold as cassettes—are being produced at the rate of nearly one a day, making them the major contemporary art form in Nigeria. The history of African film offers no precedent for such a huge, popularly based industry. The contributors to this volume, who include film and television directors, an anthropologist, and scholars of film studies and literature, take a variety of approaches to this flourishing popular art.
This book draws together contributions from literary studies, anthropology, ethnomusicology, and African language studies to analyze the complex functioning of oral texts and models in differing contexts. It examines the continuing role of orality in modern society, the adaptation of oral models to printed forms, and the ability of oral forms to 'talk back' to the technology of print.
Contemporary French writing on the Maghreb—that part of Africa above the Sahara—is truly postmodern in scope, the rich product of multifaceted histories promoting the blending of two worlds, two identities, two cultures, and two languages. Nomadic Voices of Exile demonstrates how that postmodern sentiment has altered perceptions concerning Maghrebian feminine identity since the end of the French-colonial era.