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Currey, James. Africa Writes Back: The African Writers Series and the Launch of African Literature. Oxford/Johannesburg/Athens/Ibadan/Nairobi/Harare/Dar es Salaam. 2008. James Currey/Wits University Press/Ohio University Press/HEBN/Weaver Press/Mkuki na Nyota. 9781847015020. 60 black and white illustrations. 350 pages. paperback. Cover portrait photographs by George Hallett.

9781847015020FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

CONTENTS: Publishing & selling the African Writers Series — The portfolio & George Hallett's covers — Main dates - INTRODUCTION The establishment of African literature - Publishing Chinua Achebe - WRITERS FROM WEST AFRICA Nigeria: The country where so much started — Negritude from Senegal to Cameroun - Magical realism from Ghana, The Gambia & Sierra Leone - WRITERS FROM EAST AFRICA Towards the oral & the popular in Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania — Publishing WRITERS FROM THE HORN & NORTH-EASTERN AFRICA Emperors in Ethiopia Publishing Nuruddin Farah —Arab authors in Egypt & Sudan - WRITERS FROM SOUTH AFRICA Writers of resistance - Publishing Alex la Guma — Publishing Dennis Brutus — Publishing Bessie Head - Publishing Mazisi Kunene - WRITERS FROM SOUTHERN AFRICA: Guns & guerrillas in Mozambique & Angola — Zambia Shall be Free — Death & detention in Malawi — The struggle to become Zimbabwe —  Publishing Dambudzo Marechera — CONCLUSION Is there still a role for the African Writers Series? — African Writers Series by Year of Publication. 17 June 1958 was the date of publication of the hardback of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart by Heinemann. This provided the impetus for the foundation of the paperback African Writers Series in 1962 with Chinua Achebe as its Editorial Adviser. This narrative, drawing liberally on the correspondence with the authors, concentrates on the adventurous first twenty-five years. '... not only the story of a publishing enterprise of great significance; it is also a large part of the story of African literature and its dissemination in the latter half of the twentieth century. 'The manuscript is full of the drama of that enterprise, the drama of dealing with the mother house, William Heinemann, of dealing with the often intractable political constraints dominating the intellectual space in various ways across Africa, and not least of all of dealing with the writers themselves — with their ambitions, their temperaments, their financial needs and, at times, their perception of a colonial relationship between themselves and a European publishing house. 'It is teeming with people: not just the writers, but with the managers of the AWS branches in Nigeria and East Africa and the many people, often leaders in their own right, all providing comment and advice on proposals, drafts and manuscripts in a spirit of astonishing good will, all doing their best according to their situation to foster the growth of African literature.’ — Clive Wake, Emeritus Professor of Modern Languages, University of Kent at Canterbury. 'It is worth the price of the book for the chapter on ‘Publishing Dambudzo Marechera’ alone.' —  Bernth Lindfors, Emeritus Professor of African Literature, University of Texas at Austin.

 

Currey JamesJames Currey was the Editorial Director at Heinemann Educational Books in charge of the African Writers Series from 1967 to 1984, and is the co-founder of James Currey publishers (est 1984). Currey has been called “The Godfather of African Literature”. His publishing house is responsible for producing vast numbers of academic books, journals, fiction and non-fiction books about Africa, especially in a period when it was considered not profitable to publish books about Africa. He together with Chinua Achebe under the auspices of Heinemann publishers, produced the famous African Writers Series (AWS) which have inspired many African(ist)s around the world.

 

 


 

 

 

 


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