African children's and youth literature

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Twayne Publishers, Jun 1, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 162 pages
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In this colorful, lively analysis of selected African literature for young people, Osayimwense Osa focuses on Anglophone countries - Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and South Africa - and primarily on the novel, a popular genre in contemporary adolescent literature in Anglophone Africa. This study seeks to illuminate African cultural assumptions, especially those about love and marriage and other aspects of social conduct that non-Africans may find strange.
Using the novels of Cyprian Ekwensi, Buchi Emecheta, and other lesser-known authors, Osa discusses young adult love, marriage customs, the restraints placed on women, and the catastrophic effects of polygamy; how wealth and greed can lead to immorality and crime among young people; how idealism and activism among young people can be corrupted; and the responsibilities of youth during civil war and war's devastating consequences.
Addressing the oral-story tradition that abounds on the African continent, Osa uses Ekwensi's An African Night's Entertainment - immensely popular with young Africans since its publication in 1962 - as a perfect example of a literary retelling of a traditional folk tale.
Throughout this study Osa stresses the preponderance of didacticism among African children's literature: almost all of these writers have been inspired by traditional values to direct children toward an acceptable African way of life.

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About the author (1995)

Osayimwense Osa is associate professor of English at Clark Atlanta University.

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