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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Imagining Africa in Western Narratives

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Edited by Smith and Ce, the volume strives to illuminate the remarkable evolution of national literatures well beyond the history of conquest, domination and instability of the regions.

Imagining Africa in Western Narratives

Coming first in the African Library of Critical Writing, ‘Africa in Narratives’ has shown proof, against the backdrop of narrow western attitudes toward nations deemed ‘ethnic’ or ‘minorities’, that literature from Africa could live up to the aesthetic challenge of assuming a major, refreshing part of world cultural discourse.

Edited by Smith and Ce, the volume strives to illuminate the remarkable evolution of national literatures well beyond the history of conquest, domination and instability of the regions.

Now, with this edition, we can commonly understand how African literature continues to reflect the distinctive landscape of the continent defined by its collective colonial and national experience, say the editors. Its peculiarities, in trend and development, have remained of comparative significance to most other literary movements of the western world.

Many of the works in this important collection of literary criticism restate decades old paradigms for creative writings to evolve beyond the stages of social and political turmoil and the intellectual imitations of western thought. 

As they argue, national literatures should be subject to the imperative of continental, Africa centered, critical interrogations. The chapters, touching upon how Africa has been portrayed in western narratives, and the foreign novel in Africa, also go on to dissect literature and leadership issues and the functionality of African writing. These, among other subjects of literary reviews, can be seen as recurring testaments to the overall Afro centric vision of their contributing scholars.

This text has been deemed must-read for scholars and students of literature from within the black Atlantic.

Available Now at the African Books Collective

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