Afropolitanism and the Novel: De-realizing Africa

1st Edition

Ashleigh Harris

Routledge India
August 29, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 232 Pages - 6 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367235512 - CAT# K422561
Series: Literary Cultures of the Global South

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Summary

The place of the novel as a literary form in Africa is contested. Its colonial origins and its unaffordability for most Africans make it a bad fit for the continent, yet it was also central to the creation of most postcolonial African national literary canons. These bipolar traditions remain unresolved in recent debates about Afropolitanism and the novel in Africa today.

This book extends this debate, arguing that Africa’s ‘de-realization’ in global representation and the global economy is reflected in the African novel becoming dominated by Afropolitan, rather than African, aesthetics, styles and forms. Drawing on a close reading a variety of major African novels of the 2000s, the volume traces the tensions between the novel’s complicity with and resistance to such de-realization. The book argues that current trends and experiments in African non-realist genres, such as science fiction, magical and animist realism, Afro-futurism, and speculative environmentalism, are the result of a preoccupation with such de-realization.

The volume is a significant exploration into literary form and its social, philosophical, political and economic underpinnings. It will be a must-read for scholars, students and researchers of African literature, politics, philosophy and culture studies.

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