Nuggets of the African Novel: With Notes on the Liberian Literary Heritage
In Nuggets of the African Novel [With Notes on the Liberian Literary Heritage], Nagbe charts a critical course which seeks to consolidate a unit approach to African literature, reinforcing one continental mind and soul. He has summarized nearly thirty African novels in Nuggets. The summaries are rich. The comments are insightful. They contain very many topics that will possibly evoke or sustain interest in the novels themselves and interest in seeing literature as an irresistible shadow of history. Even so, on the pages the reader will understand that because all literature tells the human story, all literature speaks a universal language. The notes on the Liberian component of African literature are revealing. Only a few of Nagbe’s compatriots can boast of the insight which he brings to the subject of the ironies and forces that have impacted the progress of imaginative writing in Liberia, a modern nation state established by repatriated African Americans.
Even so, the three phases of national struggle which Nagbe constantly refers to in the ‘Notes’ as ‘intra-national’ struggle is poignant. Here lies an important testimony of the biting pain which the politics of long suffering can inflict on a nation. It is an implicit testimony of the attributes of the mental ailment which, with insidious and protracted attack, decimates a person or a group of people. In a larger sense, the Liberian story is the story of Africa and her scars from cultural misinformation and confusion, and what needs to be done in the new millennium.
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