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IRCALC Book News - Africa

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Next to Reality

In this collection entitled Next to Reality and described as 'a delicious dish of environmental / cultural experience' Christian Otobotekere takes the reader on a mind’s journey into phases of events and moods where life is re-experienced on an imaginary threshold that is next or alternative to reality. Through the philosophical hindsight that understands the condition of man on earth and his relationship with nature, the poet recreates vivid images of past glamour. The platform for this imaginative exploration is poetry while the vehicle for this mental perception is the mind which the poet sees as: 'The light of my being/ Illuminating the world/ Ever casting around live rays/ Of sound, colour and beauty...' Memories flash as 'bracing winds and fawning waves' - timeless and immortal sources of joy that uplift the human spirit.
Publishers: African Books Network
 

Trilogy

This volume presents a general view of Chin Ce's three works of fiction. Read together the authorial voice is perceived in the usually humorous but disturbing notes on African environment, citizenship and leadership issues.

Publishers: African Books Network

 

 

Songs of the Fireplace

In Songs of the Fireplace Onwudinjo focuses on the tribulations and triumphs of the childless woman in an African patriarchy. Structured as ballads, these poems tenderly evoke the plight of an Igbo housewife and her struggles to hold her ground in the face of domestic and societal aggression towards her childlessness situation. It is said that with these ballads, which lure the reader to their wealth of ideation, the Ugandan poet Okot p'Bitek  has finally begotten a literary son in Nigeria's Peter Onwudinjo.

Publishers: Wusen Ltd

 

 

Eclipse in Rwanda

Eclipse in Rwanda is a metaphor for the litany of conflicts ravaging Africa, from the backstreets of villages through the cities and corridors of political power. Joe Ushie, the poet, brings freshness and maturity to enliven his metaphors and neologisms. Puns and sounds create new levels of meaning. Ecipse in Rwanda is a remarkable addition to Africa's search for peace and a new dawn since colonialism and imperialism.

Publishers: Kraftgriots Ltd

 

Millennial

Ce's third volume of poetry since two decades of Full Moon and African Eclipse is, in his words, 'the product of additional years of travel and sojourn through the lands of, rightly, my mothers and fathers.' These journeys are physical and, even more importantly, spiritual - the latter bordering on aspects of a heritage that transcends spatial and temporal dimensions of reality at least for 'all of the human family.' In lucid viewpoints and gentle rebukes, the poet makes these memories blossom a new awareness of  reality that we find in The Visitor.

Publishers: African Books Network

 

 

Para Vasco: poems from Guinea Bissau

Para Vasco (For Vasco) is the first in Heaventree's series of translations of Lusophone African poetry. Dedicated to Vasco Cabral, the late freedom fighter, politician and man of letters, this collection, presented in Portuguese and English, represents the first opportunity for the English-speaking world to read the poetry of Guinea-Bissau. Beginning with  poems of the war for independence, and moving through the postcolonial period to highlight contemporary writers its diversity of styles and gradual unshackling of poetry from the imperatives of the anticolonial struggle make it a significant contribution to the growing canon of West African literatures.

Publishers: Heaventree Press

 

 

 

The Visitor

Set in a modern third-world nation-state, Chin Ce's third fiction is here concerned with the quest for wholeness signified by the hero's retrieval of a lost memory. This story which intertwines three dimensions of existence: past, present and future is however not so much concerned with the follies and frailties of human conduct as the inexorable growth that attends human actions and pushes the frontiers of existence beyond the mundane.

Publishers: African Books Network.

 

 

African Dirge Poetry

 

An important contribution to research in African literature leading to a theory of African dirge poetry drawn from constant recurring points in that genre of writing. We meet, in this seminal work, various categories of African mourners. They are the conjurers of images and weavers of emotions manipulating human feelings and sensitivity by such admirable craftsmanship as can only be known to those gifted bards of their age.

Publishers: African Books Network

 

 

Children of Koloko

Children of Koloko marks at initial reading as something of a childhood story of innocence, but it really isn’t. What we have are character types presented through the hero, Yoyo, and other adjuncts of the central personage: Dickie and Buff. So we have three youngsters struggling to negotiate their passage into adulthood  and are keenly aware of the deficiencies of their environment - and themselves.  

Publishers: African Books Network.                        Review

 

 

New Poetry Vol 1 No. 2

The 2005 issue of the New Nigerian Poetry Journal, NNP, goes with a brilliant dedication to retiring professor of English, Romanus Egudu, of the University of Benin. According to the editors, this is "in recognition of his contributions to the development of African literature (in general) and Nigerian poetry in particular." NNP 2005 features new studies of such poets  as Egudu, Enekwe,  Ofeimun and the late Ken Saro Wiwa. The 2005 NNP journal also presents a literary showcase: the Chat Forum hosted by project editor GMT Emezue with Nigerian poet and novelist Chin Ce as guest.

Publishers: Progeny Press

 

 

The Last of the Strong Breed

This engrossing tale recreates the old times in a town In  eastern Nigeria. The Last of the Strong Breed takes the reader on a sensational sequence of journeys. Sometimes allegorical, sometimes picturesque, into the hearts and hearths of individuals and families in a closely knit four-village community. The narrative is set in the early 1900s, when British colonial administrators prowled the hinterland of the village called Umuga plundering, maiming and killing at every turn in the name of pacification. A work of lyrical power and beauty, Akachi Ezeigbo’s novel revolves round the lives of men like Obiatu and Okoroji and women like Ejimnaka, Onyekozuru, Chieme and Chibuka who represent the noble specimen of humanity, fiercely irrepressible and unconquerable even in death, yet full of the joy of living. The Last may also serve as a study in complementary gender relations.

 

The Prisoners

The Prisoners, according to its author, Chris Nwamuo, is war literature since it was the war that informed and motivated him. Many years after the Nigerian civil war he feels that some of the experiences of the war are still evident within the Nigerian society hence the need to articulate such experiences for modern audiences. Those aspects of the war which still exist with the society to this day are the problems of good leadership, inequality and the widening gap between the rich and the poor. The play is all about four jailed war deserters who in prison are subjected to starvation and inhuman treatment, as the chief superintendent of prisons diverts food supplies allocated to the prisoners for personal consumption. In the end the prisoners revolt and take captive the prison officials.

Publishers: Tana Press      

 

                                                

Gamji College

 

A humorous collection of short fiction narratives by the author of Children of Koloko. Here Chin Ce displays an admirable craft in dialogue and portraiture of characters who reflect the modern sensitivities of Africa's dying values.

Publishers: African Books Network

 

 

East African Popular Songs

Aaron Rosenberg’s  study constitutes a provocative reassessment of the relationship between African songs and the literatures of Eastern Africa. The focus of the book is a detailed analysis of language, form, and theme as they apply to a wide spectrum of verbal art in the region. Toward this end literary and musical works from throughout Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, and the Comoros Islands, among others, are comparatively examined in order to determine and describe the salient ways in which such forms of creative expression are deployed as devices which reflect and radically transform prevailing ways and means of identity formation in and across communities in the region. Using songs, poetry, novels, plays and short fiction in a variety of languages, the author opens up new ways of looking at identity paradigms in contemporary Eastern African contexts and the manners in which people and populations whose lives extend across various “borders,” whether ethnic, national, or class derived, develop “supercultural” senses of self.
Publishers: Africa World Press

 

 

Why We Write: Conversations with African Canadian Poets and Novelists
 

In this volume, African Canadian creative writers discuss the complexities of the writing experience. Most of the writers interviewed here are humanists:  they see their work as serious depictions of the human condition, admit that their works are informed by an African Canadian ontology, and adhere to the notion that their books must delight and instruct. These interviews, therefore, are valuable additions to the creative process of the individual writers. Apart from identifying how the writers’ geographical and social origins have influenced their work, these writers also respond to the exigencies of craft, the manipulations of publishers, the criticism of readers, and the absence of a clearly identifiable market for their works. The writers include Austin Clarke, Bernadette Dyer, Althea Prince, Afua Cooper, M. Nourbese Philip, Cecil Foster, Lawrence Hill, David Woods, George Elliot Clarke, Wayde Compton, Robert Sandiford, Suzette Mayr, Claire Harris, Pamela Mordecai, and Ayanna Black.

   Publishers: Tsar Books 

 

 

The Last Battle and other Stories

Onuora Ossie Enekwe, former national vice president of the association of Nigerian authors and currently professor of dramatic literature at the University of Nigeria, demonstrates a versatility of literary craft in this collection of short stories where each story strikes a a unique chord in the reader's mind. Enekwe's style has been said to critically hinge on the effective manipulation of ironies which generally underlie the actions of his protagonists. The tragic notes which mark his stories are never awkward with this remarkable literary talent that has been compared with America's Stephen Crane.

  Publishers: Afa Press Ltd

 

 

 

African Literature 3

African Literature and Culture ALC-ALJ 2006 edition comes with fourteen essays, commentaries and reviews by contributors from Canada, United States, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Kingdom in what promises to become a major referential guide to critical appreciation of African literature in the years ahead, says IRCALC editors in their introductory commentary to the journal volume. Papers in the 2006 issue of the Journal of African Literature and Culture, JALC-ALJ include critical reappraisals of the works of notable younger and older African writers such as Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, JM Coatzee, Chin Ce, Dangaremgba, Vassanji, Ama Ata Aidoo, Mongo Beti to mention but a few. In their preface the editors propose a wholistic approach to criticism of African literature in spite of its regional and national groupings and the reimagining of issues of African modernity in relation to contemporary definitions of the Black world.

Publishers: Progeny Press

 

 

New Voices (Recent Nigerian Poetry)

The timely appearance of this anthology of African poetry has expanded our literary frontiers, marking a resurgence of some new and fairly known poetry in the beggarly charted field of African poetry appreciation. On the distinction of this collection, editor GMT Emezue notes:  'We have followed an arrangement markedly distinct from older attempts at demarcations along themes and convergence of time all too convenient. 'Our intention ...is to present a wide list of materials that will appeal to all audiences of whatever academic interests or levels, in whatever age bracket they may fall and from what ever nationalities they may come.' The anthology, which is the latest of African poetry, features some rising and popular Nigerian voices such as Enekwe, Ce, Raji, Onwudinjo, Adeoti, Chylekezi, Adegoke, Bassey and Ushie to mention but a few.

Publishers: African Books Network

 

 

Mma Collection of Poems

A new poetry collection entitled Mma and other Poems by Joy Etiowo published by African Books. The Mma collection features a total of 27 poems and reflect the sensitivity of the new generation of African poetry in the clear, lucid manner of expression and the lyrical quality of its entire poetic breath, says Nigerian poet and novelist Chin Ce in his introduction to the published volume.

Publishers: African Books Network
 

 

An African Eclipse and other Poems

An environmental Reading of Chin Ce’s African Eclipse poetry traces a transition and advancement from social consciousness through psychological growth, exile and progress.

“A Farewell” highlights this movement in a prefatory manner. The three ways: left, right and middle signify three choices of two extremes and a middle course.

Publishers: African Books Network 

 

 

Kingdom of Empty Bellies

Kei Miller's poems have been variously described as wonderfully imagined and skilfully executed; a radiant utterance that speaks of (Caribbean) island experiences and gender politics ...full of empathy humour and insight. Kingdom of Empty Bellies is no doubt the prime work of an extraordinary new voice singing with clarity and grace. 'There's capability here,' a critic says, 'negative capability, the only kind that counts. And a spirit of grace that ...turns you round and burns your tongue.'

Publishers: Heaventree Press.

 

 

Nigger For Life


Nigger For Life, by Neal Hall, is an anthology of verse reflecting the poet’s painful, later life discovery, that in “unspoken America," race is the one thing on which one is “first” judged, by which he is “first” measured and  against which his life and accomplishments are metered. In short, race is everything to do with accessing choice, opportunity, power and freedom in America. According to Beth Richie of the University of Illinois at Chicago, the  “images and issues addressed in Nigger For Life are tremendously important to our [African American] people and the academic field of African American Studies.”
Nigger For Life website: www.surgeonpoet.com

 

 

Lamentations

 

Chris Nwamuo's collection, Lamentations, nurtured away from the Nigerian environment provides him with a new impetus, new vision from which he objectifies the Nigerian context. Therefore he can produce poems like "Song of Creation," "New Yam", "Bound In Chains", "Tears of Sorrow", "Song of Peace", "Biafra Forgotten”, Lament for Life," "Pol Ndu Remembered", all in which "everlasting green plant/in contact with mother earth", becomes the "good tape we embrace in another year" with thanks (ndewo). While, as "the wheel of death rolls by" our hearts "pierce with scores of swords in a battle of thoughts", till we reach "the enclave …loaded with fire. . . " till the hills "are green again."  Publishers: AP Publications

 

 

Full Moon

 

Full Moon volume of poetry is all about taking imaginative action, letting the landscape of images free to explore horizons beyond everyday preoccupations. In this journey both poet and reader are engaged in a discourse, a communion of sorts, running through time or harking back in the past. In Full Moon we are invited to a world where perpetual insights, the advancement of imaginative faculties, take precedence. It  begins from the point we express the nudge to find inner freedom which when illuminated fructifies in the release of new images. Old viewpoints lose or add to their original meaning and a whole fresh vista of cognition emerges.

Publishers: African Books Network

 

 

Marching to Kilimanjaro

Marching to Kilimanjaro is not a mere annotation of African topography. The contrasts extend to other dimensions: man- woman, Europe-Africa, city-village. Throughout, Enekwe cuts the figure of that Okigboesque prodigal in search of roots, so eager to find that primordial cord in the navel of the earth. If Okigbo makes supplications to Mother Idoto, Enekwe bends both knees before Agbogho Mmonwu; if Okigbo's own guardian angel is a “watery presence", Enekwe's is a "dancing jewel". To both poets, the city is flight, exile, and a "mighty prison" with "stony colors". The village is not only where the hearth is; it is also where Earth resides...

Publishers: Afa Press