The first in the African Library of Critical Writing, ‘Africa in Narratives’ is proof, against the backdrop of narrow western attitudes toward nations deemed ‘ethnic’ or ‘minorities’, that literature in Africa still lives up to the challenge of aesthetic imagination in assuming an active, 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 violent stages in a 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.
All of such peculiarities, in trend and development, have offered comparative significance to most other literary movements of the western world.
Many of the works in this important collection of literary criticism restate their position that the creative writings in many countries of Africa must evolve beyond the ephemeral stages of social and political turmoil, not to talk of intellectual imitations of western thought.
As they have often argued, national literatures should be subject to the imperative of a continental cooperation and of Africa centered critical interrogations.
These chapters, touching upon how Africa has been portrayed in western narratives, and introducing the foreign novel in Africa, also going on to literature and leadership issues and questions of functionality of African literature, among other subjects of literary reviews, are recurring testaments to this Afro centric vision of their contributing scholars.
The book has been deemed must-read for scholars and students of literature from within the black Atlantic.
Available Now at the African Books Collective