10 Essential African NovelsThink of it that way, if it helps. In the face of irresistible historical change — the collapse of a corrupt order — the claims of the individual are necessarily of secondary importance, even irrelevant. Pasternak, of course, did not believe this. Does Coetzee? His writing offers a Post-Modern engagement with a colossal theme: the impact, in Africa and elsewhere, of an expansionist Western political philosophy and the process of its subsequent dissolution, which raises the wider issue of the cultural authority to which fiction written within the Western tradition can lay claim. Coetzee is unique among South African novelists working in English.
Disgrace - J.M Coetzee BOOK REVIEW
The Novel in Africa
We asked five novelists, each from a different African country and with a new novel out this spring, to select two of their favorite African novels. Here's what each picked. Links to PW reviews are provided when available. In Taduno's Song , Nigerian author Atogun combines a retelling of the Orpheus myth with a Kafkaesque meditation on identity in a powerful novel about a musician who runs afoul of the ruthless Nigerian government. His picks are a Nobel winner and a debut novelist.
He obtained his doctorate, a linguistic study of the work of Samuel Beckett, in from the University of Texas. His first novel, Dusklands was written while he was living in Texas. Initially, his literary work received a somewhat uneasy reception in his native country, posing as it does uncomfortable questions about power and authority in often-allegorical form. In apartheid South Africa that is, prior to , this somewhat oblique approach to resistance writing attracted criticism from a range of mostly South African scholars and writers, who believed that literature should be committed to the political struggle against apartheid. With his migration to Australia in , Coetzee continues to challenge his readers and critics who wondered what he would write about after leaving South Africa. He is an incisive literary critic and has published four collections of essays to date and a trilogy of memoirs, Scenes from Provincial Life. As a result, it has attracted ever-increasing numbers of scholars, critics, and commentators.