In The People's Right to the Novel, Eleni Coundouriotis sets out to survey what she calls an “introverted” branch of African fiction: the war novel (17). She places this in contrast to the postcolonial bildungsroman, which has attained its current prominence in global Africanist criticism because it fits comfortably into critical paradigms of “writing back” to empire and thus is always already addressed, at least partly, to a transnational readership. The war novel, on the other hand—particularly the tradition that established itself simultaneously with the anti-imperial struggles of the 1950s and 1960s—has addressed itself to the internal concerns of national populations in a way that the bildungsroman has not. If the bildungsroman has tended to focus on the subjective development of postcolonial elites, she argues, the war novel has concerned itself, in more direct and multiform ways, with how a national...

You do not currently have access to this content.