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Lucy Gasser

scholar of literary & cultural studies, editor of poco.lit.

M.G. Vassanji
The Magic of Saida

The Magic of Saida begins with a relatively familiar premise: a man returns to the country of his birth on a mission to find the woman he once loved. But this novel finally delivers a much more complex and tragic story than this starting point might suggest, offering a sweeping history of what is today Tanzania, from precolonial times to (almost) the present day.

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Margaret Busby
New Daughters of Africa

Margaret Busby’s anthology Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writings by Women of African Descent from the Ancient Egyptian to the Present came out in 1992, a groundbreaking collection of over 1000 pages that brought together a breathtaking array of work, spanning different genres and various works of translation. New Daughters of Africa is the follow-up volume, first published in 2019, and, while clocking in at a modest 900-odd pages, is an equally impressive project.

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Cottbus City Tour: postcolonial meets postsocialist

When you think of Cottbus, its (post)colonial entanglements might not be the first thing that come to mind. But a small group affiliated to the local university have taken up the task of confronting just these aspects of the city’s history. At the tail end of August, on a broiling late summer day, I was lucky enough to be allowed to tag along on this tour in Cottbus, which bills itself not just as postcolonial, but as postcolonial-and-postsocialist.

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Ailton Krenak
Ideas to postpone the end of the world

Ailton Krenak’s Ideas to postpone the end of the world (translated from Portuguese by Anthony Doyle) is a slim volume bursting with important ideas. Krenak is a philosopher and socio-environmental activist for Indigenous rights from the Krenak homelands along the Doce River.

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Mohale Mashigo
Intruders

Intruders ranges from stories about familiar monsters – werewolves and ghosts, say – to imagining technologies of the not-too-distant future – eye implant computers, for example. Even when the imagined taps into a familiar trope or figure, like the mermaid, Mashigo gives it a twist…

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Amos Tutuola
The Palm-Wine Drinkard

“I was a palm-wine drinkard since I was a boy of ten years of age. I had no other work than to drink palm-wine in my life.” So begins Amos Tutuola’s famed The Palm-Wine Drinkard, which came out in 1952 and is widely feted as the first West African novel in English published internationally.

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NoViolet Bulawayo
Glory: A Novel

Glory is a book at once comical and horrifying. Cynical and unforgiving, yet somehow hopeful in its last breaths, NoViolet Bulawayo’s second Booker Prize shortlisted novel is keen political commentary and formal innovation in one.

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Decolonization is not (just) a metaphor

One of our aims with poco.lit. is to try to demystify some of the key ideas in and around postcolonial studies. In this post, we take a look at an article called “Decolonization is not a metaphor”, published by Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang in 2012.

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