UNDER AFRICAN SKIES: Modern African Stories by Charles R.--Ed. Larson

UNDER AFRICAN SKIES: Modern African Stories

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An overview of contemporary writing from Africa, drawing together 27 stories produced over the past three decades. Editor Larson offers a judicious mix of familiar figures (Amos Tutuola, Sembene Ousmane, Chinua Achebe, and Ben Okri) and less well known writers, among them Luis Bernardo Honwana (""Papa, Snake & I"") from Mozambique, V²ronique Tadjo (""The Magician and the Girl"") from the Ivory Coast, Tijan Sallah (""Innocent Terror"") from Nigeria, and Mandla Langa (""A Gathering of Bald Men"") from South Africa. A deeply moving (and prophetic) short story by activist Ken Saro-Wiwa (""Africa Kills Her Sun""), who was executed in 1995 by the Nigerian government, reminds us how deadly dangerous the pursuit of literature can be. Clear themes emerge here: the terrible struggle to preserve tradition, the conflicting pull of Western and African beliefs, the awful disruptions still visited on Africa by the West. These are expressed in a variety of forms, with stories ranging from straightforward realism to soaring blends of traditional storytelling and magic realism. Larson's biographical notes on the writers are terse and useful. A necessary volume for anyone seeking an introduction to modern African literature.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0374525501
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: "Farrar, Straus & Giroux"