African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory

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9781405112000: African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory
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This is the first anthology to bring together the key texts of African literary theory and criticism.


  • Brings together key texts that are otherwise hard to locate
  • Covers all genres and critical schools
  • Provides the intellectual context for understanding African literature
  • Facilitates the future development of African literary criticism

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Book Description:

African literature today continues to be a major propelling force in the growth of more global studies such as postcolonial literary and cultural studies. But while anthologies of African fiction, poetry, and drama and even republications of old and out of print literary texts are being produced, there is no single anthology of African literary criticism and theory in existence. Olaniyan and Quayson redress this balance by providing a strikingly comprehensive anthology.

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In a Nigerian newspaper, more than ten years ago, the distinguished critic, Biodun Jeyifo, lamented what he called the “homelessness” of the writings of African literary theorists and critics. This landmark anthology at long last creates a home for the key texts, bringing together work that otherwise exists only in disparate journals and essay collections, and largely inaccessible texts.


Covering all genres and critical schools of literary theory, the anthology provides the intellectual context for understanding African literature. The material is organized around significant topics in the field, including feminist criticism, postmodernism, and Marxist theory, and reflects the chronological development of African literary criticism. Writings include those written by scholars with often fiercely divergent viewpoints, exemplifying the drama and excitement of debates in the field.

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Tejumola Olaniyan (editor), Ato Quayson (editor)
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