Postcolonial African writers have made an enormous contribution to world literature. These writers frequently examine such issues as emerging identities in the postcolonial climate, neo-colonialism and new forms of oppression, cultural and political hegemonies, neo-elitism, language appropriation, and economic instability. During the last decade, their works have elicited increasing critical attention. This reference book overviews the richness of postcolonial African literature. The volume focuses on how postcoloniality is reflected in the novels, poetry, prose, and drama of major, minor, and emerging writers from diverse countries in Africa, including representative North and South African writers as well as writers of the Indian diaspora born in Africa. While authors in indigenous African languages continue to produce valuable works, the volume principally considers Anglophone and Francophone authors, along with two Lusophone writers.
The reference book begins with an introductory essay on postcolonial criticism and African writing. The volume then presents alphabetically arranged profiles of approximately 60 writers, such as Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Buchi Emecheta, Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Tabar Ben Jelloun, Doris Lessing, Peter Nazareth, Gabriel Okara, Femi Osofisan, and Efua Theodora Sutherland. Each entry includes a brief biography, a discussion of major works and themes that appear in the author's writings, an overview of the critical response to the author's works, and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. These profiles are written by expert contributors and reflect many valuable perspectives. The volume concludes with a selected general bibliography of the most important critical works on postcolonial African literature.