Student Encyclopedia of African Literature

by Douglas Killam, Alicia L. Kerfoot


Some 600 alphabetically arranged entries chronicle the growing field of African literature in a work written expressly for students.

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Cover image for Student Encyclopedia of African Literature

December 2007


Pages 368
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics The Arts/World Literature

African literature is a vast subject of growing output and interest. Written especially for students, this book selectively surveys the topic in a clear and accessible way. Included are roughly 600 alphabetically arranged entries on writers, genres, and major works. Many entries cite works for further reading, and the volume closes with a selected, general bibliography.

Africa is a land of contrasts and of diverse cultures and traditions. It is also a land of conflict and creativity. The literature of the continent draws upon a fascinating body of oral traditions and lore and also reflects the political turmoil of the modern world. With the increased interest in cultural diversity and the growing centrality of Africa in world politics, African literature is figuring more and more prominently in the curriculum. This book helps students learn about the African literary achievement.

Written expressly for students, this book is far more accessible than other reference works on the subject. Included are nearly 600 alphabetically arranged entries on authors, such as Chinua Achebe, Athol Fugard, Buchi Emecheta, Nadine Gordimer, and Wole Soyinka; major works, such as Things Fall Apart and Petals of Blood; and individual genres, such as the novel, drama, and poetry. Many entries cite works for further reading, and the volume closes with a selected, general bibliography.



"This is a useful resource, especially for libraries serving undergraduates or the general public."—Booklist

"This encyclopedia will make accessible a whole range of literature about which there has previously been limited information....a welcome contribution to reference collections."—School Library Journal

"College-level libraries strong in African literary studies will welcome the introductory Student Encyclopedia of African Literature....Bibliographic references for further reading enhance discussions and make for an excellent reference introduction perfect for curriculums including African literary studies."—Midwest Book Review/California Bookwatch

"…With nearly six hundred entries, the work offers both a historical perspective and a contemporary context for readers to fully embark on a better understanding of African literature. The book provides a fine and solid introduction to African literature without overwhelming anyone who picks it up."—Reference & User Services Quarterly

"The Student Encyclopedia of African Literature is a good starting point for those doing research on African authors, literary works, and related subjects. . . . Entries are clear and concise, and will give students a good overview as they begin their studies. . . . This work is recommended for school and public libraries."—ARBA

"What a relief to find a book that is exactly what it says it is on the cover; for it to be exactly what we expect it to be! No gimmicks! No spin! This smart, easy-to-hold book starts with an alphabetical list of entries. . . Entries, with a few exceptions, are of paragraph length, concise, fact-filled, with some featuring further reading. Cross-references to related articles are clearly indicated. It is an easy book to use. . . . The impressively wide coverage, straightforward presentation, and clear prose make this an excellent guide. . . . This book opens a whole new window on a large and significant part of the world. . . . The Student Encyclopedia of African Literature is a first-class work of reference and should be welcomed in a wide range of libraries."—Reference Reviews

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