"Represents the first attempt to bring together and analyze under a cogent theoretical framework the works of the four most prominent Angolan fiction writers living today. . . . Highly recommended."--Ana Paula Ferreira, University of California, Irvine
"Original and provocative readings of [writers who are] unquestionably the most important figures in current Angolan narrative fiction."--Luis Madureira, University of Wisconsin, Madison
In the first volume devoted to the work of contemporary Angolan writers, Phyllis Peres analyzes the ways in which four writers--Luandino Vieira, Uanhenga Xitu, Pepetela, and Manuel Rui--imagine their emerging nation as nationalist movements first opposed the Portuguese colonial regime beginning in the early 1960s. Peres's analysis follows these writers and their work through independence, achieved in 1975, and the two ensuing decades of civil war to the 1990s.
Applying a postcolonial theoretical perspective, Peres looks at how these four writers, all of them active in the early nationalist movements, first attempt to use distinctly Angolan materials--language, folk stories, forms based on traditional narrative techniques, and forms consistent with a revolutionary ideology--in their work. She shows how these early optimistic experiments gave way, in the face of civil war, to more ironic, self-questioning works evoking an Angola too disparate to be imagined, too polarized to have an identity. The literary project of "narrating a nation" remains uncertain, but Peres's book draws from the particulars of the Angolan experience to reach broader conclusions about patterns of narrative resistance and transculturation applicable to the literatures of other emerging nations and identities.
Given the growing interest in Lusophone African literature in the United States and the increasing availability of such works in translation, Peres's book should prove particularly valuable to students of Luso-Brazilian studies, colonial and postcolonial African literatures, and comparative literature. Transculturation and Resistance is also a wonderful critical companion to the works (many of them currently available in translation) of Angola's most prominent writers.
Phyllis Peres is associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a regular contributor to various scholarly journals on African, Brazilian, and Portuguese literatures and colonial discourse.