Saturday, July 18, 2015

Horrible admission: I've read very few novels written by African writers. I'm going to use this blog as an opportunity to correct that...

Here's an interesting article I found about African Literature.

I need to check out some of the writers in this one paragraph:
An openness to popular fiction has yielded other unexpected outcomes and has enlarged the circle of what counts as African fiction. Those who follow the history of the African novel are familiar with the war of words between Chinua Achebe and Ghanaian author Ayi Kwei Armah during the 1980s. Achebe questioned the authenticity of Armah’s novel, The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born. He saw the existential drift of the story as Armah “imitating the style…of some other people,” by which he meant Europeans. For experimenting with European forms, Achebe accused Armah of “using his talent in rather unproductive ways.” Today, there is a less restrictive and prescriptive literary culture in Africa. African writers are eager to explore different forms and are able to push boundaries as they please. Ivor Hartman’s anthology of African science fiction, Nnedi Okorafors’s alien encounter story, Lauren Beukes’s black-magic noir, E.C. Osondu’s story-fragments, Igoni Barrett’s Kafkaesque tale, Makumbi’s Kintu Saga, Sarah Lotz’s horror thrillers, Diriye Osman’s exploration of same-sex love, Teju Cole’s philosophical novel, and Khaled Ahmed Towfik’s dystopian novel are all the outcome of a literary culture that has come to accept difference, experimentation, and risk-taking.

I just finished reading "Things Fall Apart" and it was stunning. It's pretty much  what happens to every agrarian culture when it runs up against a culture that has more technology or at least better guns. You could recast it with Native Americans and get the same story. More on that later.

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