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Edited by Tracy Ann Hayes, Theresa Edlmann and Laurinda Brown

This book is a collection of papers from an international inter-disciplinary conference focusing on storytelling and human life. The chapters in this volume provide unique accounts of how stories shape the narratives and discourses of people’s lives and work; and those of their families and broader social networks. From making sense of history; to documenting biographies and current pedagogical approaches; to exploring current and emerging spatial and media trends; this book explores the possibilities of narrative approaches as a theoretical scaffold across numerous disciplines and in diverse contexts. Central to all the chapters is the idea of stories being a creative and reflexive means to make sense of people’s past, current realities and future possibilities.

Contributors are Prue Bramwell-Davis, Brendon Briggs, Laurinda Brown, Rachel Chung, Elizabeth Cummings, Szymon Czerkawski, Denise Dantas, Joanna Davidson, Nina Dvorko, Sarah Eagle, Theresa Edlmann, Gavin Fairbairn, Keven Fletcher, Sarah Garvey, Phyllis Hastings, Tracy Ann Hayes, Welby Ings, Stephanie Jacobs, Dean Jobb, Caroline M. Kisiel, Maria-Dolores Lozano, Mădălina Moraru, Michael R. Ogden, Nancy Peled, Valerie Perry, Melissa Lee Price, Rasa Račiūnaitė-Paužuolienė, Irena Ragaišienė, Remko Smid, Paulette Stevens, Cheryl Svensson, Mary O’Brien Tyrrell, Shunichi Ueno, Leona Ungerer, Sarah White, Wai-ling Wong and Bridget Anthonia Makwemoisa Yakubu.

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André Viola, Jacqueline Bardolph and Denise Coussey

The term 'recent' or 'new' covers novels and some short fiction published between 1980 and 1995, a period characterized by growing pessimism about the state of affairs in both East and West Africa. The section on South Africa deals more narrowly with the 1985-95 watershed marking the end of official apartheid and the beginning of reconstruction. The three sections aim at giving a coherent picture of the main directions in production, highlighting three main centres of interest, Nigeria, Kenya, and the Republic of South Africa, although some novelists from neighbouring countries are also considered (such as Kofi Awoonor from Ghana, Nuruddin Farah from Somalia, and M.G. Vassanji and Abdulrazak Gurnah from Tanzania).
The evaluations conducted in the three sections lead to the emergence of a number of common themes, in particular the writers' predilection for topicality, the role of the past, and the controversy over the idea of the nation. Central themes also include the role of women in fending for themselves, both in rural and in urban environments. A further major theme is the role of the past (the Nigerian civil war; the Mau Mau period in Kenya; the revisiting of slavery; the refurbishing of myth; the questioning of historical reconstructions). The preoccupation of the West, East, and South African novel with the idea and ideal of the 'nation' is explored, particularly in the context of migrancy, hybridity, and transculturalism characterizing the anglophone diaspora.
The volume is aimed at literary scholars and students and, more generally, readers of fiction seeking an introduction to contemporary literary developments in various parts of sub-Saharan anglophone Africa. No categorical distinction is drawn between 'popular' and 'high' literature. Though still selective and not intended as an exhaustive catalogue, the present survey covers a large number of titles. Rather than resorting to broad and ultimately somewhat abstract thematic categories, the contributors endeavour to keep control over this mass of material by applying a 'micro-thematic' taxonomy. This approach, well-tested in the tradition of literary studies within France, groups works analytically and evaluatively in terms of such categories as actional motifs, plot-frames, and sociologically relevant locations or topics, thereby enabling a clearer focus on the dynamics of preoccupation and tendency that form networks of affinity across the fiction produced in the period surveyed.

Xavier Garnier

’s Vita ya Uhuru and the Location of World Literature Shaaban Robert played an important role in the emergence of modern Swahili literature. In 1959, he became the first African member of the East African Swahili Committee, which was created in 1930 by the British colonial administration to standardize

literature offered new forecasts for relations between Eastern and Western cultures and civilizations. The Silk Road, which dates back to ancient China, is a major transportation hub connecting Asia, East Africa, and Europe. It is also known as “the Canal of Human Civilization” and “the Womb of Global

Matthias Buschmeier

of dancing Somalis in East Africa to illustrate the “prehistoric” combination of dance, music, and poetry – alongside remarks that this latter dance is still (i.e., during Hart’s era) carried out at weddings and funerals – in a chapter on the origins of “primitive” poetry (cf. Hart  I , 7