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A Social History of the Shona Novel

by Emmanuel M. Chiwome

Shona literature now comprises 85% of literature published for schools in Zimbabwe, an indication of its significance for the understanding of the philosophical and historical base of (the understanding of) a language, people and nation. Chiwome's book argues that the productivity of Shona fiction is inseparable from the dialects of history; first colonialism, then development, and exposes colonialist notions about Shona cultural values and the implications for reading and writing the literature. He analyses Shona writers' predilections for certain genres of fiction asking why colonialism did not produce historical/committed literature, and why moralistic and fantastical modes prevail. In the latter part of the book, he adopts Manichean and Fanonian psychoanalytic approaches to African fictional characters suffering inferiority and collective paranoia, and discusses how this relates to the aesthetic qualities of the literatures of decolonisation.

ISBN 9780869227657 | 272 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2002 | Mambo Press, Zimbabwe | Paperback

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