In 1965, Chinua Achebe, in his classic essay "The Novelist as Teacher", declared that the "African past - with all its imperfections - was not one long night of savagery from which the early Europeans acting on God's behalf, delivered them." That assertion included a still reverberating sentiment shared by many of the first generation of African writers that it is possible to reclaim that distorted past creatively in order to show and understand "where and when the rain started beating Africa". Many genres and forms of literary and cultural production have recalled and recorded and reconfigured that past - many projecting a new confident African future defined by self-determination. The spectrum of that complex engagement, which encompasses critical issues in politics and social justice, provides the basis of this volume, which concludes with tributes to the life and works of Kofi Awoonor. Articles on: Binyavanga Wainaina + Ben Okri & Nationhood + J.M.
Coetzee & the Philosophy of Justice + Isidore Okpewho & "Manhood" + Ngugi's Matigari & the Postcolonial Nation + Politics & Women in Irene Salami's More Than Dancing + Ayi Kwei Armah's The Resolutionaries Ernest Emenyonu is Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Michigan-Flint, USA; the editorial board is composed of scholars from US, UK and African universities Nigeria: HEBN
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