After Colonialism

African Postmodernism and Magical Realism

By Gerald Geylard
(Wits University Press, Paperback, 9781868144242, 346pp.)

Publication Date: March 2006

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""What comes after colonialism? Is there such a thing as a truly postcolonial or post-imperial being or state? These questions boggle the mind, for whilst most ordinary people have always lived at least partially within but beyond empires and nations, it is difficult to conceive of a time or a place when empires and nations and their effects have ceased to exist. In other words, to think of the truly postcolonial is an imaginative activity, for the human past, present and foreseeable future are dominated by colonies and empires of all kinds. If the postcolonial requires imagination, then what is the imagination? This is the question that propelled this book."" --From the Introduction

Africa's imagination has been dominated and informed by pressing social and political issues, and its fiction has reflected this in its commitment to social realism. However, in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, this tendency has been challenged by the rise to prominence of experimental fiction exhibiting post-modern and magical realist characteristics. "After Colonialism: African Postmodernism and Magical Realism" thoroughly examines this new fiction and its contribution to the liberation of Africa's imagination. It finds, perhaps ironically, that a liberated imagination provides a powerful tool for understanding, and perhaps even resolving, the complex issues of postcolonial Africa.

Gerald Gaylard is a senior lecturer in the department of English at the University of the Witwatersrand.

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