Out of French-speaking Africa, from Togo, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Guinea, Congo, Rwanda, Djibouti, and Madagascar, comes the polyphony of new voices aired in this volume. The collection brings together fourteen important contemporary authors with roots in sub-Saharan French Africa and Madagascar, a new generation now living in France or the United States, and introduces their remarkable work to readers of English. These writers’ stories, unlike earlier African literature, seldom resemble traditional folk tales. Instead they are concerned with the postindependence world and reveal in their rich and complex depths the influence of modern European and American short-story traditions as well as the enduring reach of African myths and legends.
This gathering of gifted writers tenders modern versions of myths; nostalgia for childhood in Africa; relations between the sexes in contemporary Africa; continuing political problems; and the life of the African diaspora in France—all related in new and familiar ways, in innovative and traditional forms. Their work, most of it little known outside France and their native African countries, revises our understanding of the lingering effects of colonization even as it celebrates the complexity, exuberance, and tenacity of African culture.