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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

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

Chin Ce's recent volume of poetry since two decades of Full Moon and
African Eclipse. It is, in the words of the poet, 'the product of
additional years of travel and sojourn through the lands of, rightly,
my mothers and fathers. These journeys,' he notes, 'are both 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 us all in the human family.' In lucid
viewpoints and gentle rebukes, the poet makes these memories blossom
in a new awareness of reality that is as much present here as in his
Visitor tale.

Publishers: Handel Books Ltd.

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 in the retrieval
of a lost memory. All knowledge of who we are, this story asserts,
spans three dimensions of existence: past, present and future
intertwined. However the novelist is not so much concerned with the
follies and frailties of human conduct as with the inexorable growth
that attends our actions and pushes the frontiers of awareness beyond
the ken of mundane lives.

Publishers: Handel Books Ltd.

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.

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