This volume pays tribute to the formidable legacy of Hena Maes–Jelinek (1929–2008), a pioneering postcolonial scholar who was a professor at the University of Liège, in Belgium. Along with a few moving and affectionate pieces retracing the life and career of this remarkable and deeply human intellectual figure, the collection contains poems, short fiction, and metafiction. The bulk of the book consists of contributions on various areas of postcolonial literature, including the work of Wilson Harris, the ground-breaking writer to whom Hena Maes–Jelinek devoted much of her career. Other writers treated include Ben Okri, Leone Ross, Kamau Brathwaite, Jamaica Kincaid, Peter Carey, Murray Bail, Patrick White, Janice Kulyk Keefer, Dan Jacobson, Joseph Conrad, and Eslanda Goode Robeson. Caryl Phillips revisits his earlier reflections on the ‘European tribe’. There are wide-ranging essays analysing consanguineous authors, on such topics as Caribbean treatments of the Jewish Diaspora, Swiss-Caribbean authors, the contemporary Australian short story and the Asian connection, and ‘habitation’ in Australian fiction, as well as a searching examination of the socio-political fallout from the scandal of Australia’s ‘Stolen Generations’.
Contributors are: Gordon Collier, Tim Cribb, Fred D'Aguiar, Geoffrey V. Davis, Jeanne Delbaere, Marc Delrez, Jean–Pierre Durix, Wilson Harris, Dominique Hecq, Marie Herbillon, Louis James, Karen King–Aribisala, Bénédicte Ledent, Christine Levecq, Alecia McKenzie, Carine Mardorossian, Peter H. Marsden, Alistair Niven, Annalisa Oboe, Britta Olinder, Christine Pagnoulle, Caryl Phillips, Lawrence Scott, Stephanos Stephanides, Klaus Stuckert, Peter O. Stummer, Petra Tournay–Theodotou, Daria Tunca, Cynthia vanden Driesen, Janet Wilson.
The White Spaces of Kenyan Settler Writing provides an overview of Kenyan literature by white writers in the half-century before Independence in 1964. Such literature has been over-shadowed by that of black writers to the point of critical ostracism. It deserves attention for its own sake, as the expression of a community that hoped for permanence but suffered both disappointment and dispossession. It deserves attention for its articulation of an increasingly desperate colonial and Imperial situation at a time when both were being attacked and abandoned in Africa, as in other colonies elsewhere, and when a counter-discourse was being constructed by writers in Britain as well as in Africa. Kenya was likely the best-known twentieth-century colony, for it attracted publicity for its iconic safaris and its Happy Valley scandals. Yet behind such scenes were settlers who had taken over lands from the native peoples and who were trying to make a future for themselves, based on the labour, willing or forced, of those people. This situation can be seen as a microcosm of one colonial exercise, and can illuminate the historical tensions of such times. The bibliography is an attempt to collect the literary resources of white Kenya in this historically significant period.