Tuesday, 21 April 2015

NEW BOOK: Terri Ochiagha, Achebe and friends at Umuahia: The making of a literary elite

This is the first in-depth scholarly study of the literary awakening of the young intellectuals who became known as Nigeria’s “first-generation” writers in the post-colonial period. Terri Ochiagha’s research focuses on Chinua Achebe, Elechi Amadi, Chike Momah, Christopher Okigbo and Chukwuemeka Ike, and also discusses the experiences of Gabriel Okara, Ken Saro-Wiwa and I.C. Aniebo, in the context of their education in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s at Government College, Umuahia. The author provides fresh perspectives on Postcolonial and World literary processes, colonial education in British Africa, literary representations of colonialism and Chinua Achebe's seminal position in African literature. She demonstrates how each of the writers used this very particular education to shape their own visions of the world in which they operated and examines the implications that this had for African literature as a whole.

About the author

Terri Ochiagha holds one of the prestigious British Academy Newton International Fellowships (2014-16) hosted by the School of English, University of Sussex. She was previously a Senior Associate Member of St Antony’s, University of Oxford.
Focusing on the emergence of an African elite at Government College Umuahia and their turn to literature as a mode of self-expression, Terri Ochiagha’s Achebe and Friends answers one of the outstanding questions in African literary history: Why did the most important group of pioneer writers emerge from one institution in Eastern Nigeria in the last decades of colonial rule? Ochiagha combines the archival skills of a cultural historian with the sensibilities of a literary critic to produce perhaps one of the most important commentaries on African literature in recent years. This is a remarkable book on the origins of African literature and an unmatched model of how to do the literary history of the postcolonial world. 
(Simon Gikandi, Robert Schirmer Professor of English, Princeton University)
First Published: 16 Apr 2015
13 Digit ISBN: 9781847011091
Pages: 216
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: James Currey
Series: African Articulations
Subject: African Studies
BIC Class: GTB
Price: £45.00/US$80.00 

·         1  Introduction: The Umuahian Connection
·         2  Laying the Foundation: The Fisher Days, 1929-1939
·         3  “The Eton of the East”: William Simpson and the Umuahian Renaissance
·         4  Studying the Humanities at Government College, Umuahia
·         5  Young Political Renegades: Nationalist Undercurrents at Government College, Umuahia, 1944-1945
·         6 “Something New in Ourselves”: First Literary Aspirations
·         7  The Dangerous Potency of the Crossroads: Colonial Mimicry in Ike, Momah & Okigbo's Reimaginings of the Primus Inter Pares Years
·         8  An Uncertain Legacy: I.N.C. Aniebo and Ken Saro-Wiwa in the Umuahia of the 1950s
·         9  The Will to Shine as One: Affiliation and Friendship beyond the College Walls
10  Appendices


Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

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