Resistance Literature  book cover
1st Edition

Resistance Literature

  • Available for pre-order on February 8, 2023. Item will ship after March 1, 2023
ISBN 9781032456423
March 1, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

As one of the foundational texts in the field of postcolonial writing, Barbara Harlow’s Resistance Literature introduced new ground in Western literary studies. Originally published in 1987 and now reissued with a new Preface by Mia Carter, this powerfully argued and controversial critique develops an approach to literature which is essentially political. Resistance Literature introduces the reader to the role of literature in the liberation movements of the developing world during the 20th Century. It considers a body of writing largely ignored in the west. Although the book is organized according to generic topics – poetry, narrative, prison memoirs – thematic topics, and the specific historical conditions that influence the cultural and political strategies of various resistance struggles, including those of Palestine, Nicaragua and South Africa, are brought to the fore. Among the questions raised are the role of women in the developing world; communication in circumstances of extreme atomization; literature versus propaganda; censorship; and the problem of adopting literary forms identified with the oppressor culture.

Table of Contents

1. The Theoretical-Historical Context 2. Resistance Poetry 3. Narratives of Resistance 4. Prison Memoirs of Political Detainees 5. Commitment to the Future: Utopia, Dystopia, and Post-Independence Developments.

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Barbara Harlow was Professor of English at the University of Texas, Austin, USA.


Reviews of the original edition of Resistance Literature:

‘Resistance Literature is a wide-ranging and impressive critical study. ‘ Mary Layoun, Middle East Report, 159.  

‘It is with relief that one turns the pages of Resistance Literature to find a detailed roadmap of world literature…The greatest strength in Harlow’s book lies in the link forged between political activity and the written word.’ Caren Kaplan, Modern Fiction Studies, Vol 35, No. 1

‘Resistance Literature is a timely intervention in the struggle to reconstruct literary studies in the West.’ Luke Spencer, Resistance Literature, Volume 14, Issue 6.