4 new African books for the (northern) summer

Chris Brady cdbrady at attglobal.net
Wed Jul 17 15:30:12 MDT 2002


THE RETURN OF THE WATER SPIRIT

by Pepetela

Set in Angola in the late 1980's, a time of war, and when the
Marxist-orientated ruling elite became engulfed by corruption, nepotism
and
rampant capitalism.

Three centuries earlier, a hideous crime occurred, the beheading of a
slave
who had had inappropriate relations with his Master's daughter. Now, in
the
very same Kinaxixi Square in the city of Luanda buildings are falling
down
one by one baffling the country's engineers. Many describe this
mysterious
process as 'Luanda Syndrome, God's punishment on a degenerate society.

[]        Drawing on the essence of African mythology which had all but
been
obliterated by history, could this be explained by the return of a Water

Spirit (the 'kianda')?

[]      A focus on the interplay between the forces of old and new. Just

like faith can move mountains, the spirit of the water can move cities.

[]        A scathing critique of Angola's ruling elite, for abandoning
their
socialist principles in favour of rampant capitalism.

About the author : PEPETELA was born in Benguela in 1941. After studying

engineering in Portugal, in the late 1960's he took part in the
guerrilla
war against the colonial army. He was a member of the first MPLA
delegation
to fly into Angola at the end of the war for indepen-dence. Among other
responsibilities, he has been deputy Minister of Education and a leading

member of the Angolan Writers' Union. His other novels in the African
Writers Series are Yaka (1984) Mayombe (1996).

Trade Distribution from the Publisher:
HEINEMANN PUBLISHERS OXFORD African Writers Series.
B Format : 128pp     ISBN:0 435 91210 0     Published price: GB Pounds
6.50
Available

===

 TO DREAM AGAIN

Brian H Jones

Brian H. Jones lives in Windhoek and works as professor of English at
the
University of Namibia.

 My father never did get a pair of spectacles. Until the day he died, he

used a magnifying glass. Thus opens the story of Kerem, former freedom
fighter and exile. Like his father, who used a magnifying glass to
examine
the sculptures he carved with such care, Kerem scrutinises the key
experiences of his life. As Africa extricates itself from colonial rule
and
embarks on the slippery road of independence. Kerem traces the contours
of
his past. With humour and passion he brings to life the full cast of the

African struggle: from his parents, steeped in traditional values, to
the
engaging priest who knows more than he lets on, the corrupt new
officials,
and his British girlfriend. With longing he recalls his village
childhood,
which was he now realises, the best of times.

[] One of very few novels to come from Namibia.

[] A novel in a literary tradition that goes back to the work of Chinua
Achebe, and his novels Things Fall Apart (1958),  and Arrow of God
(1964) -
a literary reaction against the moral degeneration and corruption of
indigenous elites in newly-independent African countries.

[] A powerful and tragic story which makes for interesting reading.

Softcover     296 pp   213 x137mm     Publisher: Kwela Books,  AVAILABLE

DISTRIBUTED IN EUROPE by Central Books Ltd
99 Wallis Road LONDON E9 5LN  Tel +44 [0] 20 8986 4854  Fax+44 [0] 20
8533
5821  orders at centralbooks.com
ISBN   0 7957   0137 3          Pounds  9.95

==

GATHERING SEAWEED
Heinemann Anthology of AFRICAN PRISON WRITING

Edited by Jack Mapanje

Prison Writings have a lot to say about Africa. Through the eyes of
imprisoned writers, readers can encounter Africa as it changes before
and
after independence. Asylum, immigration and human rights are themes
explored
in this anthology. It comprises a variety of excerpts and genres by
writers
in prison. African prison writing - how prison writing is at once
distinct
from and yet a central part of other forms of literature - how prison
writing reflects the history, society and culture of the country it
comes
from

About the Editor  - Jack Mapanje was born in Malawi in 1944 and has
lived in
Malawi and Britain. His earlier title Of Chameleons and Gods was banned
in
Malawi and Mapanje was subsequently detailed in Mikuyu Maximum Detention

Centre near Zomba for three years, seven months and sixteen days. No
charges
were brought against him. He was released in May 1991 following intense
pressure from fellow writers and activists. His second title The
Chattering
Wagtails of Mikuyu Prison (1993) was also published in the AWS. He is a
distinguished academic currently based at the University of Leeds. He
lives
in England with his wife Mercy and three children.

Trade Distribution from the Publisher:
HEINEMANN PUBLISHERS OXFORD  African Writers Series.
UK Publication date: August 2002
ISBN:0 435 91211 9      Published price: GB Pounds 9.95

===

THE LITTLE BOOK OF AFRICAN WISDOM

Patrick Ibekwe

All over Africa there is a rich and robust oral tradition of wise
sayings
and proverbs. Poetic, direct, expressing a way of seeing the world,
whether
saint's or cynic's, peasants or philosophers, these proverbs sound the
voices of a continent. Dip into this little book for a bittersweet taste

from a continent that cannot be ignored.

Format: 105 mm x 85 mm Jacketed hardback ; Pages: 144. Two colour;

Publisher: NEW INTERNATIONALIST : 1.9.2002- 0 9540499 1 8   GB Pounds
3.99

DISTRIBUTED IN EUROPE by Central Books Ltd
99 Wallis Road LONDON E9 5LN  Tel +44 [0] 20 8986 4854  Fax+44 [0] 20
8533
5821  orders at centralbooks.com

=============
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