1st Edition

Nigeria's Third-Generation Literature Content and Form

By Ode Ogede Copyright 2023
    326 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book considers the evolution and characteristics of Nigeria’s third-generation literature, which emerged between the late 1980s and the early 1990s and is marked by expressive modes and concerns distinctly different from those of the preceding era.

    The creative writing of this period reflects new sensibilities and anxieties about Nigeria’s changing fortunes in the post-colonial era. The literature of the third generation is startling in its candidness, irreverence as well as the brutal self-disclosure of its characters, and it is governed by an unusually wide-ranging sweep in narrative techniques. This book examines six key texts of the oeuvre: Maria Ajima’s The Web, Okey Ndibe’s Foreign Gods, Inc., Teju Cole’s Open City, Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters Street, Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s The Thing Around Your Neck. The texts interpret contemporary corruption and other unspeakable social malaise; together, they point to the exciting future of Nigerian literature, which has always been defined by its daring creativity and inventive expressive modes. Even conventional storytelling strategies receive revitalizing energies in these angst-driven narratives.

    This book will be of interest to students and researchers of contemporary African literature, Sociology, Gender and women’s studies, and post-colonial cultural expression more broadly.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.

    Tables of Contents 1. New Wines and Old and New Bottles 2. Parable, Metaphor, the Pictorial Frame, Emblem of Moral Decadence 3. Allegory, Migration, Mock-Epic, and Unspeakable Subjects 4. Elegy, Prose Narrative, and the Inner Life 5. Subverted Narrative of Disappointed Expectations 6. Ethnography, Patriarchy (or Male Dominance), Anecdotal Portraiture, and the Unspeakable Subject of Co-Wife Rivalry, or the Dilemma of the Western Educated Woman within Polygyny 7. Anecdote, Allegory, and the Pictorial Frame 8. Signing Off/Out Index



    Ode Ogede is Former Vice-President of the Modern Language Association of Nigeria and is currently Professor of English at North Carolina Central University, USA, as well as author of several books.

    "As far as I know, Nigeria’s Third-Generation Literature is the first book-length study of its kind. In other words, this is an important literary project, certainly the first of its kind in the history of literary criticism in Nigeria. The conceptualization [of the book] is well framed and nuanced and the content no less so. This monograph will prove to be a fine contribution to contemporary Nigerian critical thought. One remarkable thing about this approach is that it combines close reading of the texts chosen for this study with deep contextual references that add depth to the project of reading the social, political and cultural life in contemporary Nigeria. It will be highly welcomed by many who seek to understand where this country is after the golden years of African literary renaissance in the 1960s and 1970s, most of which happened here.

                    Written in a clear and readable prose, this book will appeal to a large swart of the public interested in African literary criticism, especially contemporary Nigerian literary criticism. As one of its kind, the argument which Ode Ogede makes to the effect that this book will begin the canonization of this set of texts is indeed true. It will certainly give visibility to these authors. It will introduce them to university students across Nigeria and on the African continent . . . it will also appeal to scholars interested in introducing new writers in their classrooms across there world. There is also a lot in the selected texts to titillate the interests of feminists.

                    This is a new and refreshing insight into the world of contemporary Nigerian literature. It brings the critical debate about Nigerian literary criticism into sharp focus, offering readers a careful, knowledgeable, and critical view of a new tradition of Nigerian writing that is quickly emerging. It summons to the table past literary accomplishments as the author deftly introduces a new crop of Nigerian writers. There is nothing like it in the field at the moment."

    Onookome Okome, currently Senior Fellow, FRAIS, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, Albert-Ludwigs Universitat, Freiburg, Germany; Professor, Department of English and Film Studies,University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.