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Literary Criticism, Africa

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Cover of 'A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart'

A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
By Terri Ochiagha

In the accessible and concise A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Terri Ochiagha asks new questions and brings wider attention to unfamiliar but crucial elements of the story, including new insights into questions of canonicity, and into literary, historiographical, and precolonial aesthetic influences.

Finalist for the 2014 Melville J. Herskovits Award from the African Studies Association.
Cover of 'The Power to Name'

The Power to Name
A History of Anonymity in Colonial West Africa
By Stephanie Newell

Between the 1880s and the 1940s, the region known as British West Africa became a dynamic zone of literary creativity and textual experimentation. African-owned newspapers offered local writers numerous opportunities to contribute material for publication, and editors repeatedly defined the press as a vehicle to host public debates rather than simply as an organ to disseminate news or editorial ideology.

2014 Winner of the African Literature Association First Book Award
Cover of 'Metaphor and the Slave Trade in West African Literature'

Metaphor and the Slave Trade in West African Literature
By Laura T. Murphy

Through an examination of metaphors that describe the trauma, loss, and suffering associated with the the transatlantic slave trade, Metaphor and the Slave Trade shows how the horrors of slavery are communicated from generation to generation and persist in West African discourse.

Cover of 'Environment at the Margins'

Environment at the Margins
Literary and Environmental Studies in Africa
Edited by Byron Caminero-Santangelo and Garth Myers

Environment at the Margins brings literary and environmental studies into a robust interdisciplinary dialogue, challenging dominant ideas about nature, conservation, and development in Africa and exploring alternative narratives offered by writers and environmental thinkers. The essays bring together scholarship in geography, anthropology, and environmental history with the study of African and colonial literatures and with literary modes of analysis.

Cover of 'Africa Writes Back'

Africa Writes Back
The African Writers Series and the Launch of African Literature
By James Currey

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.

A 2007 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
Cover of 'Rewriting Modernity'

Rewriting Modernity
Studies in Black South African Literary History
By David Attwell

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.

A 2007 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
Cover of 'J. M. Coetzee and the Idea of the Public Intellectual'

J. M. Coetzee and the Idea of the Public Intellectual
Edited by Jane Poyner

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.

Cover of 'Ghanaian Popular Fiction'

Ghanaian Popular Fiction
‘Thrilling Discoveries in Conjugal Life’ and Other Tales
By Stephanie Newell

This is a study of the ‘unofficial’ side of African fiction—the largely undocumented writing, publishing, and reading of pamphlets and paperbacks—which exists outside the grid of mass production.Stephanie Newell examines the popular fiction of Ghana produced since the 1930s, analyzing the distinctive ways in which narrative forms are borrowed and regenerated by authors and readers.Familiar