A book proposing an overview of “African literature” is a very attractive proposition to the new reader seeking orientation in a vast and fast-growing vibrant field, to the expert in one area looking to explore others, and perhaps also to the publisher with a canny eye to the bottom line. This essay examines the often bewildering array of apparent subcategories that emerge in some key texts published around the turn of the twentieth-first century that purport to offer an overview of African literature in French, but which seem to entirely set aside important international debates over “postcolonial,” diaspora, and hybridity, among others. These texts have an important role in the construction of knowledge of “African literature,” but their strengths and limitations become clear when we look closely at the categories suggested and no more so than when the category happens to be that of “identity.”


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pp. 1-12
Launched on MUSE
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