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A creative collection of poetry, artwork, pictures and descriptive essays dealing with contemporary themes concerning the African condition. Rich in rare information on the continent's history, places and people; it is both highly educative and entertaining. It contains non-conventional viewpoints on Africa and is cutting edge in its use of poetry, and other creative strains, in discussing Africa.
Cutting across countries, genres, and time periods, this volume explores topics ranging from hip hop’s influence on Maasai identity in current day Tanzania to jazz in Bulawayo during the interwar years, using music to tell a larger story about the cultures and societies of Africa.
This book is a seminal study that significantly expands the interdisciplinary discourse on African literature and cinema by exploring Africa’s under-visited carnivalesque poetics of laughter. Focusing on modern African literature as well as contemporary African cinema, particularly the direct-to-video Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood, the book examines the often-neglected aesthetics of the African comic imagination. In modern African literature, which sometimes creatively traces a path back to African folklore, and in Nollywood — with its aesthetic relationship to Onitsha Market Literature — the pertinent styles range from comic simplicitas to comic magnitude with the facilitation of language, characterization, and plot by a poetics of laughter or lightness as an important aspect of style. The poetics at work is substantially carnivalesque, a comic preference or tendency that is attributable, in different contexts, to a purposeful comic sensibility or an unstructured but ingrained or virtual comic mode. In the best instances of this comic vision, the characteristic laughter or lightness can facilitate a revaluation or reappreciation of the world, either because of the aesthetic structure of signification or the consequent chain of signification. This referentiality or progressive signification is an important aspect of the poetics of laughter as the African comic imagination variously reflects, across genres, both the festival character of comedy and its pedagogical value. This book marks an important contribution to African literature, postcolonial literature, world literature, comic imagination, poetics, critical theory, and African cinema.
The book is a comparative analysis of recent films by African male and female filmmakers and literary works by female African authors from Senegal, Mali, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Togo and Burkina Faso. The films are Finzan (Cheikh Oumar Sissoko, 1990), Women with Open Eyes (Anne-Laure Folly, 1994), and Faces of Women (Desire Ecare, 1985). In addition, the manuscript includes the study of Women are Different (Flora Nwapa, 1986), Double Yoke (Buchi Emecheta, 1983) and So Long a Letter (Mariama Ba, 1980).Curry analyzes the homogeneous themes such as oppression, sabotage, cultural alienation, exploitation, sexual bargaining and the changing dynamics of sexual relationships that appear through these productions. She concludes that African women continue to undergo a metamorphosis. This transformation is the result of a blend of traditionally African and European influences.Modernist terms such as "feminism" and "womanism" intended to capture the emerging African women as subjects and not objects of study, are avoided. In so doing, a theoretical approach is used, based on the author's own experiences in West Africa. Then, building from that premise, Curry analyzes the novels and films within this context to either prove or disprove her theories.Enthusiasts without past experiences in the area of African literature and African films, and also students and scholars in African studies, specifically in comparative literature, anthropology, women's studies, sociology, African history, film studies and social studies, will all find this book of great interest.In raising the issues that West African women face, this book, as the title suggests, aims to awaken other African women and indeed a western readership to the fast changing lives of women in Africa. Georgina Holmes in African Research and Documentation No. 102, 2007

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