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Contemporary Francophone African Writers and the Burden of Commitment
Odile Cazenave
Edition : University of Virginia Press
Pays d’édition : États-Unis
ISBN : 978-0-8139-3096-1
Pages: 256


Odile Cazenave and Patricia Célérier
By looking at engagée literature from the recent past, when the francophone African writer was implicitly seen as imparted with a mission, to the present, when such authors usually aspire to be acknowledged primarily for their work as writers, Contemporary Francophone African Writers and the Burden of Commitment addresses the currrent processes of canonization in contemporary francophone African literature. Odile Cazenave and Patricia Célérier argue that aesthetic as well as political issues are now at the forefront of debates about the African literary canon, as writers and critics increasingly acknowledge the ideology of form. Working across genres but focusing on the novel, the authors take up the question of renewed forms of commitment in this literature. Their selected writers range from Mongo Beti, Ousmane Sembène, and Aminata Sow Fall to Boubacar Boris Diop, Véronique Tadjo, Alain Mabanckou, and Léonora Miano, among others.

« Contemporary Francophone African Writers and the Burden of Commitment by Odile Cazenave and Patricia Célérier delineates the field of contemporary francophone African literature, providing the main outlines of directions taken in the past three decades. The task would seem to be formidable, yet the authors accomplish this extremely well, with insightful interpretations of a very large body of texts, and a timely exploration of the location of political engagement within those works. It will be of considerable usefulness to scholars who simply want to know what is currently being published, which texts they ought to be teaching and reading, and what import to ascribe to those works. More importantly, it provides an understanding of the trajectory of African literature from its early years of struggle for national liberation to its present entanglements in the age of globalization and transnationalism. The work is very up-to-date in its’synthesis’ of the field. »-Kenneth W. Harrow, Michigan State University, author of Less Than One and Double: A Feminist Reading of African Women’s Writing

Odile Cazenave is Professor of French at Boston University. Patricia Célérier is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Vassar College.
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