A gap exists between African literary texts and their interpretation for many scholars and readers of African literature today. Unfamiliar with the cultures, societies, and politics of Africa, some readers bring a perspective to the work that is at odds with the worldview embodied by the works themselves.
In Culture, Society, and Politics in Modern African Literature, Ojaide and Obi investigate the paradoxes and ironies of a literature produced in Africa and interpreted by readers and scholars (African and non-African) who are living outside the continent. Starting from the premise that literature is a cultural production of a people, they look at some of the factors important for the interpretation and analysis of African literature, including the colonial experience of Africans, the realities of the post-independence era, and the economic conditions of African states.
This book, the collaborative work of a literary scholar-poet and a sociologist, addresses the general and specific problems in the understanding of African literature and will be of interest to students and scholars, as well as to general audiences.
“In sum, the individual chapters cover a wide range within African literature, geographically and linguistically, with a special focus on current trends in creative production and criticism. The book is well written, with clear and concise explanations of critical terms and concepts.” — African Studies Review