African Books Network showcases a harvest of literary and cultural expressions in the best traditions of world class publishing –
Global Titles, African Authors!
The titles are wide ranging. From books of poetry, short and long reads to literary criticism and scholarly essays. From historical through cultural epistemology, and with the varieties of ideas, vision and style, coupled with elegant graphic cover finishing we can agree no less with Handelbooks director that African titles have become important referrals in contemporary studied approaches to literature and culture. Below are some of recent scholarly books on African Writing from stable of the African Network.
Post Colonial Identities revisits issues regarding the newer literature within the expansive African heritage of diverse regional and national groupings. It is poised at substantiating the uniformity of Africa in terms of literary and cultural movements, and lending some inter-disciplinary insights on the whole body of literature through twentieth century history.
This edition commits to the depths of black identities in modern black texts. The cultural reclamation of an African origin and/or roots as tied to the solemn remembrance of the Ancestor has demanded the intense attention of enlightened black writers for the social and psychic revaluation of their generation and others that follow. In this series we further examine the status of the oral performer in African traditional societies which encouraged a wide range of human expression to create identity for members of the community Africa -and we have proposed a challenge to sustain the methods of creative transmission through the continuing presence of these African performers who are living proofs of the survival of her oral traditions, especially in the propulsion of communicative action and the communicative strength of men, women and children in the community.
In literature the ambiguous portraiture of female characters by some male writers and the phallic nature of men’s writings have proved a matter of concern to female writers in Africa. For decades within African writing the issue of silencing was interrogated particularly as it addressed the muting and marginalisation of black women by male writers through the script of patriarchy which men follow. In this series we continue the literary and dramatic tradition of feminist concern for women’s issues and we review novels, plays and poetry which demonstrate a commitment to exploring the challenges facing modern women in changing times and excerpting the issues of gender, feminism, identity, race, history, national and international politics specifically as they affect women. Female Subjectivities collectively answers the need to question and adumbrate the possibilities of literary revisions, showing what it would mean to revise even the Feminist psychoanalyst in a discourse on the subjectivity of women of colour.
This study of oral tradition in African literature is borne from the awareness that African verbal arts still survive in works of discerning writers and in the conscious exploration of its tropes, perspectives, philosophy and consciousness, its complementary realism, and ontology, for the delineation of authentic African response to memory, history and other possible comparisons with modern existence such as witnessed in recent developments of the African novel. In this series we have strived to adopt innovative and multilayered perspectives on orality or indigeneity and its manifestations on contemporary African and new literatures. These studies use multi-faceted theories of orality which discuss and deconstruct notions of history, truth-claims and identity-making, not excluding gender and genealogy (cultural and biological) studies in African contexts.
Gender Issues in African Literature examines the ways in which some protagonists of African fictions are made to counter and challenge intertwined Western discourses on gender, employment, sexuality, and health. Here the conflict between Tradition and Modernity is argues from the favourite premise of male supremacist ideology showing how women have ‘unlearned’ these false concepts to build a sustained feminist movement and (re)learn the value of sisterhood. There is a bold attempt to reread Achebe as a consistent in urging women to fight the seemingly oppressive structures that have traditionally discriminated against them, and to disregard their diversity and embrace their unity. A chapter of Feminist Re-writing disagrees with the attempt to equate theory with political activism and presents Feminist literature as more than a verbal assertion that points to Feminist aesthetics and politics. The use of the trauma theory and testimony literature to explore traumatisation of female characters and its impact for Zimbabwean civil society is a useful addition to these gender studies in African literature.
THE Oracle is where Ce explores individual flagellations within a wider interdependent cosmos that involves the whole of humanity. Here the religious and political mindlessness impoverishing the African landscape takes on mythological dimensions. In his uniquely rivetting way, filled with energy and urgency, the anthropomorphic qualities imbued the elemental who manipulates the conditions of human servility are served in elevated prose. Through character struggles between awareness and ignorance, light is made to shine most glaringly and, perhaps, most timely upon our corrupt constructs of existence. Dedicated to the elder Chinua Achebe who passed away on the year of its publication, The Oracle honours a shamanistic teacher and story teller who as Onku also embodies as Nagua, our liberator from the belligerent mind control that bestrides our ages of chaos.
(For the Literary Society International)
AFRICAN Short Stories Vol.1 comes at an important period in the expansion of literary dimensions in Africa through the international online programmes of the Literary Society International (LSi).
In addition to some experimentations across the genres (poetic and dramatic), and the marriage of traditional with modern narrative techniques which merit praise, stories in this volume have strived to reflect aspects of African life showing credible fictional characterisations (of human and animal prototypes) and visionary perspectives on conflict within the short narrative tradition. This 2013 volume will prod the imaginative effort of writers and encourage many more to place their talents alongside like minds. In the world of cultural exchange, readers will find this a scintillating variance from previous efforts, and a hopeful glimpse toward a future of creative possibilities.
A Critical Anthology Vol. 1
IN this volume are evidence of modern critical traditions in which the challenges of globalisation and international cooperation give new meanings and new relations to old concepts in African literature. Questions of realism or fantasy, ethnicity or universalism, terrorism or pacifism, feminism, womanhood and the interrogation of power as they affect the whole planet of Black literary traditions are consequently redefined. All these are corroborated by prevalent historical forces which lie at the heart of the emerging literary dialogues from Africa and the Black world.
African Performance and Literature Reviews
RIDDLES and Bash contains ten volumes of essays and book reviews published in journals of African writing in the last decade. The collection reviews African oral traditions using the riddle and bash performance and also takes a hard look at modern Igbo music and culture. Ce argues that the continent is one in spite of different experiences in colonialism, nationalism and post-independent identities. And ‘with the world becoming a global village, writers from Africa will need to preserve the heritage of their people and ensure that their healthy traditions and cultures are not lost in the march of civilisation.’