by C. L. Innes, Chinua Achebe
This important anthology draws together well-established authors and the best of new writers, capturing the diversity of African writing across the continent.
Achebe's powerful critique of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness as a racist mirror of Eurocentric attitudes leads off this challenging collection of essays on art, literature and social issues. The famed Nigerian novelist ( Things Fall Apart ) views literature as a medium that can help Africa regain a belief in itself to replace a posture of self-abasement instilled by its traumatic historical encounter with the West. Tributes to novelists Amos Tutuola and Kofi Awoonor, as well as discerning appraisals of writers such as V. S. Naipaul and James Baldwin, reflect his belief in the power of fiction to give us a ``handle on reality.'' Overall, these concise essays deliver a forceful commentary on Afro-American life and letters. Summing up Nigeria's recent sociopolitical history as ``a snatching of defeat from the jaws of victory,'' Achebe calls active participation in the political process a prerequisite for his country's, and Africa's, regeneration. (Oct.)
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CHINUA ACHEBE was born in 1930 in the village of Ogidi in Eastern Nigeria. After studying medicine and literature at the University of Ibadan, he went to work for the Nigerian broadcasting company in Lagos. Things Fall Apart, his first novel was published in 1958. It sold over 2,000,000 copies, and has been translated into 30 languages. It was followed by No Longer at Ease, then Arrow of God (which won the first New Statesman Jock Campbell Prize), then A Man of the People (a novel dealing with post-independence Nigeria). Achebe has also written short stories and children's books, and Beware Soul Brother, a book of his poetry, won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize in 1972. Achebe has been at the Universities of Nigeria, Massachusetts and Connecticut, and among the many honours he has received are the award of a Fellowship of the Modern Language Association of America, and doctorates from the Universities of Stirling, Southampton and Kent. He followed Heinrich Boll, t
Paperback: (textbook) 256 pages