The best scholarship shifts paradigms by making visible domains that have existed in a cone of shadow; it discards the old frameworks that have blunted the acuity of our imagination and prevented us from seeing outside them. Susan Andrade's The Nation Writ Small: African Fictions and Feminisms, 1958–1988 falls within this category, and the story she tells is that of the creation of constraining narrative frames that have limited the reception of African novels written by women. A transformative intervention in African literary historiography, this trailblazing study simultaneously attends to the political dimension of novels, which Andrade illuminates in the tension between feminist and nationalist perspectives, as well as to formal aspects of the texts that emerge in her meticulously crafted and astutely argued close readings. The corpus of works she discusses (novels and novellas by Buchi Emecheta, Mariama Bâ, Ousmane Sembène,...
Political Literacy: Gender, Nationalism, and Visibility in African Literary History
monica popescu is associate professor of English at McGill University and the author of South African Literature beyond the Cold War (2010) and The Politics of Violence in Post-communist Films (1999) as well as numerous articles on contemporary South African literature, Cold War studies, nationalism, and gender studies.
Monica Popescu; Political Literacy: Gender, Nationalism, and Visibility in African Literary History. Novel 1 August 2015; 48 (2): 317–321. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00295132-2882841
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