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Africa Writes Back

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Africa Writes Back was published in 2008 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the publication of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart - the novel which provided the impetus for the foundation of the Heinemann African Writers Series in 1962 with Chinua Achebe as the Editorial Adviser. With the 50th anniversary of the AWS being celebrated in 2012, James Currey's book has a new resonance.
'... not only the story of a publishing enterprise of great significance; it is also a large part of the story of African literature and its dissemination in the latter half of the twentieth century. The manuscript is full of the drama of that enterprise, the drama of dealing with the mother house, William Heinemann, of dealing with the often intractable political constraints dominating the intellectual space across Africa, and not least of all dealing with the writers themselves - with their ambitions, their temperaments, their financial needs and, at time, their perception of a colonial relationship between themselves and a European publishing house.' - Clive Wake, Emeritus Professor of Modern Languages, University of Kent at Canterbury.

North America: Ohio U Press; Ghana: Sub-Saharan Publishers; South Africa: Wits U Press; Nigeria: HEBN; Kenya: EAEP; Zimbabwe: Weaver Press

No US rights


A delectable record of a period in the growth of African literature. Teachers of the discipline will use it as a handy reference while discussing the historical development of African writing. Researchers, bibliographers, archivists, and teachers of writing, book processing, and publishing will also find it a very useful companion text to consult. AFRICAN AFFAIRS

An essential resource for those interested in 20th-century African literature by a man who played an important role in its distribution. AL-AHRAM WEEKLY
A fascinating read and an irreplaceable reference. RESEARCH IN AFRICAN LITERATURES
[A] magnificent book....There is so much in this record of fifty years of African publishing to enjoy and be deeply informed by. There are fascinating portraits of a wide range of authors. [...] This extraordinarily intimate and informed story of one of the most enterprising and important publishing initiatives of C20th brings the processes and the personalities of African literary publishing richly to life. It is a remarkable and triumphant tale, told with wit, wisdom and dedication. LEEDS AFRICAN STUDIES BULLETIN
A fascinating and highly entertaining book. Rich in anecdotal material on many of Africa's best known writers, the book offers a narrative how the now famous series came together. All libraries with African studies and African literature collection interests will want to acquire this engrossing book, as will be those with collections on book, media and publishing studies. HANS M. ZELL
Every now and then a book comes along which encapsulates and defines a moment in history [...] Such a book is Africa Writes Back. BUSINESS DAY LAGOS
[A] brisk, meaty, anecdotal, clearly-shaped volume. MOVING WORLDS


First Published: 01 Oct 2008
13 Digit ISBN: 9781847015020
60 black and white illustrations
Pages: 352
Size: 22.8 x 15.2
Binding: Paperback
Imprint: James Currey
BIC Class: GTB

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015

Companion to African Literatures

Companion to African Literatures