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There is a tendency to regard African literature as a homogenous product. Certainly it is true that African writers have created a vibrant, modern literature. Nevertheless, they come from specific societies and reflect vastly differing worlds. Wanasema attempts to show some of the many faces of African literature. Dramatists, poets and novelists speak in these pages. They write in French, English, Portuguese, Arabic and indigenous languages. Some are Christian; others are Muslim. A variety of subjects are discussed, including the status of women, history, religion, politics, dress and education. Taken together, the interviews in Wanasema suggest that Western students of Africa would do well to learn the languages of Africa. They suggest, too, taht there is a need to investigate further the relationship between Islamic North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, and finally, that oral literature continues to be a vast marketplace for scholars. This book should interest African Studies specialists, of course, but also those whose concerns include literature, history and contemporary events in the non-Western world generally.
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