The Ordeal of the African Writer (Paperback)Charles Larson (author)
Paperback 176 Pages / Published: 01/08/2001
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The literatures of the English language experienced an extraordinary transformation in the second half of the 20th century as a result of the creative energy released by decolonization. But as this book demonstrates, only a small number of African writers - Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri, Nuruddin Farah and Wole Soyinka - have become known outside their own continent. They also face - and this is the subject of this book - enormous obstacles within Africa getting their work published, let alone supporting themselves financially from their writing. Charles R. Larson has followed African literature for nearly 40 years. Here he combines writers' own testimony, pen portraits of their lives, and factual investigation in order to explore the dimensions of the problem. Who is the readership in Africa? In what language should an African writer write? What obstacles do African publishing houses face and how do they treat their authors? What has been the response of publishing houses in Europe and America? How does economic crisis and political repression make the situation more difficult? And, most importantly, can anything be done to build a more supportive environment in which the Continent's new writers can produce and publish their work? This book takes the reader into the little-known human reality of what it is like to be an African writer.
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 235 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 10 mm
`Conveys something of the literary treasures of a much misunderstood continent.' Doris Lessing `Impeccably researched. Professor Charles Larson's book is elegantly written and, in my opinion, a must for everyone interested in African literature.' Nuruddin Farah `Undoubtedly an important book, packed with revealing surprises, and to be recommended to anyone concerned about the literary face of the African continent.' Tijan M. Sallah `A bold and daring documentation of decades of gruesome experiences on the part of African writers trying to break into print.' Ernest N. Emenyonu, St Augustine's College, North Carolina
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