East African literature in english

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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In 1962, an important conference on African writing 'Of English Expression' took place in Kampala, Uganda. At its very beginnings, East African literature in English was overshadowed by the manifest successes of African writing elsewhere and haunted by what was perceived as a cultural inferiority complex. The first attempts to produce an East African literature in English were made in inter-hall competitions at Makerere and in the English Department's journal Penpoint. Kenyatta's text was ostensibly concerned with the representation of precolonial Gikuyu culture. For historians of East African literature, however, the most striking literary event in the region was the publication in 1966 of Okot p'Bitek's Song of Lawino. As the major East African writers tried to fashion literary forms for representing the crisis of decolonization, they seemed to have discovered a crucial affinity between the theme of postcolonial failure and modernist techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780521832762
ISBN (Print)0521832764, 9781139054645
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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