This book looks at the trends in the development of the Igbo novel from its antecedents in oral performance, through the emergence of the first published novel, Omenuko, in 1933 by Pita Nwana, to the contemporary Igbo novel.
Defining "Igbo literature" as literature in Igbo language, and "Igbo novel" as a novel written in Igbo language, the author argues that oral and written literature in African indigenous languages hold an important foundational position in the history of African literature. Focusing on the contributions of Igbo writers to the development of African literature in African languages, the book examines the evolution, themes, and distinctive features of the Igbo novel, the historical circumstances of the rise of the African novel in the pre-colonial, era and their impact on the contemporary Igbo novel.
This book will be of interest to scholars of African literature, literary history, and Igbo studies.
Table of Contents
1. The Need for a Literary History 2. Igbo Literary Origins 3. Minstrelsy in Traditional Igbo Society: Remembering a Pioneer Legend—Israel Nwaọba Njemanze (Alias Israel Nwaọba) 4. From Voice to Text: Missionary Influence on the Development of Igbo Orthography and Written Igbo Literature 5. Early Fiction in Igbo—The Pioneers 6. The Crisis of Standardization of Written (Literary) Igbo Language: Pioneer Efforts of F.C. Ogbalu: Founder and Architect, Society for Promoting Igbo Language and Culture (SPILC) 7. On the Threshold of Another Blackout: A New Controversy over the Standardization of Written (Literary) Igbo 8. Chinua Achebe and the Problematics of Writing in Indigenous Nigerian Languages: Towards a Resolution of the Igbo Language Predicament 9. The Female Voice—Rebuttal and Response to Patriarchy: Julie Onwuchekwa’s Chinaagọrọm (1983) 10. Tony Uchenna Ubesie: The Quintessential Igbo Novelist 11. Interviews with Two Major Igbo Novelists: J.U.T Nzeako and Chinedu Ofomata
Ernest N. Emenyonu is Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Michigan–Flint, USA.