This anthology marks the 55th anniversary of the historic 1962 Makerere Conference of African Literature in Uganda bringing together post-independence African writers many of whom would go on to play major roles in defining Africa’s literary history. One of them wrote; “we were amazed that fate had entrusted us with the task of interpreting a continent to the world.” Those who gathered included the Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo, JP Clark, Kofi Awoonor, Frances Ademola, Cameron Doudu, Lewis Nkosi, Dennis Brutus, Ezekiel Mphahlele, Bloke Modisane, the African American writer Langton Hughes et al. Fifty-five years on, many have joined the ancestors but there are a few survivors who will attend the launch of this Anthology at SOAS in London on 28th October 2017.
Key Selling Points
• This is a historic and important Anthology featuring some of the most eloquent and gifted voices (both young and old) from Africa, capturing moments of critical cultural shift in celebration of this historic event in 1962. Forewords by Wole Soyinka and Baroness Valerie Amos.
• Stimulating and engaging reflections on the contemporary state of African writing reveal how the efforts of the earlier generation of writers inspired confidence in contemporary African writers to tell their own stories, not just in European languages but in Twi, Yoruba, Igbo, Swahili, Gikuyu and Shona amongst others.
• The collection captures the range, diversity, richness and wisdom of current writing featuring writers from Anglophone and Francophone countries and projects a positive future for African literature as part of world literature.
Ivor Agyeman-Duah was the inaugural curator of The John A. Kufuor Foundation Museum and Presidential Library. He is also the Development Policy Advisor to The Lumina Foundation, administrators of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and was chair of the Literature Jury for the Millennium Excellence Foundation. He has edited several volumes on the culture, history, literature and economic development of Ghana and Africa.