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Focus on Nigeria

Literature and Culture

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Edited by Gordon Collier

This issue of Matatu offers cutting-edge studies of contemporary Nigerian literature, a selection of short fiction and poetry, and a range of essays on various themes of political, artistic, socio-linguistic, and sociological interest. Contributions on theatre focus on the fool as dramatic character and on the feminist theatre of exclusion (Tracie Uto-Ezeajugh). Several essays examine the poetry of Hope Eghagha and the Delta writer Tanure Ojaide. Studies of the prose fiction of Chinua Achebe, Tayo Olafioye, Uwem Akpan, and Chimamanda Adichie are complemented by a searching exposé of the exploitation of Ayi Kwei Armah on the part of the metropolitan publishing world and by a recent interview with the poet Jumoko Verissimo. Traditional culture is considered in articles on historical sites in Ile-Ife, witchcraft in Etsako warfare, and the Awonmili women’s collective in Awka. Linguistically oriented studies consider political speeches, drug advertising, and Yoruba anthroponyms. Performance-focused essays focus on Emirate court spectacle (durbar), Yoruba drum poetry in contemporary media, gospel music, indigenization and islamization of military music, and the role of the filmmaker. Contributions of broader relevance deal with Islamic components of Nigerian culture, the decline of the educational system, and the socio-economic impact of acquisitive culture.

GORDON COLLIER

GORDON COLLIER

Spaceship Creole

Nalo Hopkinson, Canadian-Caribbean Fabulist Fiction, and Linguistic/Cultural Syncretism

Gordon Collier

Us / Them

Translation, Transcription and Identity in Post-Colonial Literary Cultures

Series:

Edited by Gordon Collier

Series:

Edited by Gordon Collier

Besides searching book reviews, an interview with the writer Tijan M. Sallah, a full report on the 6th Ethiopian International Film Festival, and a stimulating selection of creative writing (including a showcase of recent South African poetry), this issue of Matatu offers general essays on African women’s poetry, anglophone Cameroonian literature, and Zimbabwean fiction of the Gukurahundi period, along with studies of J.M. Coetzee, Kalpana Lalji, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Aminata Sow Fall, Wole Soyinka, and Yvonne Vera.
The bulk of this issue, however, is given over to coverage of cultural and sociological topics from North Africa to the Cape, ranging from cultural identity in contemporary North Africa, two contributions on Kenyan naming ceremonies and initiation songs, and three studies of the function of Shona and Ndebele proverbs, to national history in Zimbabwean autobiography, traditional mourning dress of the Akans of Ghana, and the precolonial origins of traditional leadership in South Africa. Contributors: Jude Aigbe Agho, Nasima Ali, Uchenna Bethrand Anih, Aboneh Ashagrie, Francis T. Cheo, Gordon Collier, Abdel Karim Daragmeh, Geoffrey V. Davis, Nozizwe Dhlamini, Kola Eke, Phyllis Forster, Frances Hardie, James Hlongwana, Pede Hollist, John M. Kobia, Samuelson Freddie Khunou, Mea Lashbrooke, María J. López, Brian Macaskill, Evans Mandova, Richard Sgadreck Maposa, Michael Mazuru, Corwin L. Mhlahlo. Zanoxolo Mnqobi Mkhize, Kobus Moolman, Thamsanqa Moyo, Felix M. Muchomba, Collins Kenga Mumbo, Tabitha Wanja Mwangi, Bhekezakhe Ncube, Christopher Joseph Odhiambo, Ode S. Ogede, H. Oby Okolocha, Wumi Raji, Dosia Reichhardt, Rashi Rohatgi, Kamal Salhi, Ekremah Shehab, Faith Sibanda, John A Stotesbury, Nick Mdika Tembo, Kenneth Usongo, Wellington Wasosa.

Spheres Public and Private

Western Genres in African Literature

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Edited by Gordon Collier

The coverage displayed here is predominantly on sub-Saharan literary production, and with a – perhaps systemic – focus on important aspects of political history and socio-political structures (including marxian analyses of the ‘public sphere’) and such crucial arenas as religious discipline, the tension between tradition and modernity, ecological awareness, family, and gender.
Most of the discussions are traditionally content-oriented, but there are at least two essays (on Soyinka’s Aké and on Amma Darko’s The Housemaid) that attempt to come to grips narratologically with the medium of prose fiction itself. A quartet of essays with a more general purview – including a refreshing demontage of exclusive obeisance to (Western) écriture – is followed by a section on poets, some canonical, others emergent: Ogaga Ifowodo, Jack Mapanje, Olu Oguibe, Tanure Ojaide, Okot p’Bitek, Wole Soyinka, Ladé Wosornu. Essays on fiction cover general topics (women’s fiction; political writing in Nigeria; the nightmare of Biafra), and landmark texts both anglophone (Chinua Achebe, Amma Darko, Festus Iyayi, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Wole Soyinka), francophone (Mariama Bâ, Mongo Beti, and Ousmane Sembène), and – a novum for Matatu – hispanophone (Donato Ndongo). The theatre section has essays on Ama Ata Aidoo, Zakes Mda, Anne Tanyi–Tang, Soyinka, and Ahmed Yerima, as well as Ngũgĩ and Mugo.
We are especially pleased to be able to offer accomplished original poetry, short stories, and a complete drama text. Four comprehensive essay-reviews (on literary criticism, cinema, graphic art, and traditional African society) round out this issue.

The Rocks and Sticks of Words

Style, Discourse and Narrative Structure in the Fiction of Patrick White

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Gordon Collier