1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of the New African Diasporic Literature

Edited By Lokangaka Losambe, Tanure Ojaide Copyright 2024
    656 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of the New African Diasporic Literature introduces world literature readers to the transnational, multivocal writings of immigrant African authors. Covering works produced in Europe, North America, and elsewhere in the world, this book investigates three major aesthetic paradigms in African diasporic literature: the Sankofan wave (late 1960s–early 1990s); the Janusian wave (1990s–2020s); and the Offshoots of the New Arrivants (those born and growing up outside Africa).

    Written by well-established and emerging scholars of African and diasporic literatures from across the world, the chapters in the book cover the works of well-known and not-so-well-known Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone writers from different theoretical positionalities and critical approaches, pointing out the unique innovative artistic qualities of this major subgenre of African literature. The focus on the “diasporic consciousness” of the writers and their works sets this handbook apart from others that solely emphasize migration, which is more of a process than the community of settled African people involved in the dynamic acts of living reflected in diasporic writings.

    This book will appeal to researchers and students from across the fields of Literature, Diaspora Studies, African Studies, Migration Studies, and Postcolonial Studies.

    List of Illustrations

    List of Contributors

    Introduction: Trends in the New African Diasporic Literature

    Lokangaka Losambe and Tanure Ojaide

    Part I: The Sankofan Wave (Late 1960s – Early 1990s)

    A. Anglophone Perspectives

    1. The Shapeshifter in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Migrant Writing

    Gĩchingiri Ndĩgĩrĩgĩ

    2. Abdulrazak Gurnah and V.S. Naipaul: Memory of Departure vs. Enigma of Arrival

    Simon Keith Lewis

    3. Paradise Destroyed: Exile and Diaspora in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Paradise and NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names

    Joya Uraizee

    4. Diaspora as Motif in the Poetry of Jack Mapanje, Frank Chipasula, and Lupenga Mphande

    Dike Okoro

    5. Keorapetse Kgositsile and the Erotics of Black World Archives

    Uhuru Portia Phalafala

    6. Contextualizing Racism and Humanity in Dennis Brutus’s Poetry

    Reuben Kehinde Akano

    7. Zoë Wicomb and the Poetics of Social Irony

    Stefan Helgesson

    8. ‘Dizzy with the To-ing and Fro-ing’: Diasporic Prose of the ‘New South Africa’

    Peter Blair

    9. Cultural Displacement, Identity and Home in Buchi Emecheta’s Diasporic Fiction

    H. Oby Okolocha

    10. Writing against the Rift: Ben Okri’s Diasporic Consciousness Defies Closure

    Rosemary Gray

    11. Troubadours, They Traverse: Global Vision and Diasporic Imagination in the Poetry of Niyi Osundare and Tijan Sallah

    Wumi Raji

    12. The Place of Memory and the Memory of Place in Tanure Ojaide’s Diasporic Poems

    Saeedat Bolajoko Aliyu

    13. Living in the Interstices: Afropolitanism and the Poetry of Tanure Ojaide and Alfred Kisubi

    Edoama Frances Odueme

    14. Tracing the ‘Missing Link’: Postcolonial Reconfigurations and Diasporic Imaginaries in Funso Aiyejina’s Writings

    Olajumoke Verissimo

    15. New African Diasporic Drama: Nigerian Meaning-Making Identities and Ethos

    Mabel Itohanosa Erioyunvwen Evwierhoma

    16. (W)righting the African Diaspora: Tess Onwueme’s Interrogation of African Diasporic Trauma, History, and Belonging

    Maureen N. Eke

    B. Francophone Perspectives

    17. Historical Afroeuropean and Transatlantic Mobilities in Contemporary Francophone Afrodiasporic Fiction

    Anna-Leena Toivanen

    18. Ivoirité in Tanella Boni’s Exile Discourse

    Honoré Missihoun

    19. Tale(ing) Africa in a Global Context: War, Nature and Pandemic in Veronique Tadjo’s The Shadow of Imana: Travels in the Heart of Rwanda and In the Company of Men

    Zaynab Ango

    20. Congolese Trasnational/Diasporic Writers and Their Multi-Pronged Fights

    Kasongo Mulenda Kapanga 

    Part II: The Janusian Wave (1990s and 2020s)

    A. Anglophone Perspectives

    21. Benjamin Kwakye and Okey Ndibe: Migration and Diasporic Encounters

    Joseph McLaren

    22. Negotiating Home in New African Diasporic Wrtings: The Niger Delta and Black Canadian Geographies in the Poetry of Nduka Otiono and Amatoritsero Ede

    Mathias Iroro Orhero

    23. Helon Habila’s Narratives: Thematic Visions and Narratology in Oil on Water, The Chibok Girl and Travellers

    Effiok Bassey Uwatt

    24. Diasporic Consciousness and Narrative Ambiguity in Short Stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Chika Unigwe

    Daria Tunca

    25. Chika Unigwe’s Better Never than Late: Engaging the African Immigrant Experience in Belgium, Europe

    Enajite Eseoghene Ojaruega

    26. Chris Abani, the Anthropocene, and Transnational Ecoglobal Criticism

    Sarah E. Turner

    27. Dinaw Mengestu’s Diasporic Practice

    Taylor Eggan

    28. Cruel Optimism: The Longings of Outsiders within Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers

    Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi

    29. The Poetics of Mobility, Proximity, and Emb’race in Joyce Ash’s A Basket of Flaming Ashes (2010) and Beautiful Fire (2018)

    Gilbert Shang Ndi

    30. Holding the Global Gaze: The Image of Africa and the Unapologetic Aesthetics of (Un)Belonging in the Second Wave New African Diasporic Literatures: NoViolet Bulawayo, Sefi Atta, Zukiswa Wanner, and Nana Nkweti

    Martha Ndakalako

    31. The Poetics of Unhomeliness and Homemaking in Gabeba Baderoon’s Poetry

    Nasseem Lallmahomed-Aumeerally

    32. The Transatlantic Turn in Laila Lalami’s Migrant Writing

    Ahmed Idrissi Alami       

    33. Postcolonial Diasporic Conjunctive Consciousness in Leila Aboulela’s The Translator

    Lokangaka Losambe

    B. Francophone Perspectives

    34. Fatou Diome, Abdourahman Waberi, and Mohamed Mbougar Sarr: Authors of French Expression Writing in and for “La Littérature-Monde”

    Valérie K. Orlando

    35. Extending the Boundaries of Fiction and Identity in Alain Mabanckou’s Black Bazar 

    Augustine H. Asaah

    36. Calixthe Beyala’s Literary Work Travels North

    Ylva Lindberg

    37. Calixthe Beyala’s Your Name Shall Be Tanga: An African-Diasporic Anomaly

    Christine Grogan

    38. Politicizing the “Universal” of the African Diasporic Stage Space in France

    Brian Valente-Quinn

    Part III: Offshoots of the New Arrivants (Born and Growing in Diasporic Spaces)

    A. Anglophone Perspectives

    39. Who Is Teju Cole? Is Teju Cole the Same as Julius?

    Kenneth Harrow

    40. Peace, Love, World: Helen Oyeyemi’s Peace Piece in Peaces

    F. Fiona Moolla

    41. Between Home and Away: Contemporary Black British Poetry

    Jennifer Leetsch

    42. Reading the New Diaspora in Yewande Omotoso’s Fiction

    Christopher Ouma

    B. Francophone and Lusophone Perspectives

    43. Marie NDiaye’s Un Temps de Saison: Native Hostipitality and ‘Going Native’ in Rural France

    Judith Still

    44. Archives of Absence: Reconstituting Lives Asunder in Yara Monteiro’s Essa Dama Bate Bué

    Daniel F. Silva

    45. Curly Hair as an Identity Marker: From Angola to Portugal

    Cornesha Tweede

    46. Crossing and Uncrossing: African Diaspora in Joaquim Arena’s Reparative Writing

    Patrícia Martinho Ferreira 



    Lokangaka Losambe is the Frederick M. and Fannie C.P. Corse Professor of English at the University of Vermont. He previously taught African, African Diaspora, and English literatures at universities in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Swaziland, and South Africa. Dr. Losambe also served as the president of the African Literature Association (ALA) in 2012–2013.

    Tanure Ojaide is the Frank Porter Graham Professor of Africana Studies at the UNC, Charlotte. He has published collections of poetry, novels, short stories, memoirs, and self-authored and co-authored scholarly books. Dr. Ojaide teaches and publishes on African Literature and Culture, the Folklore of Africa and the African Diaspora, and Globalization in African Poetry.