Guanya Pau: A Story of an African Princess

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U of Nebraska Press, 1994 - Fiction - 111 pages
1 Review
Origins are often obscure and beginnings easily forgotten. The first novel ever published by an African has, until now, been lost in rare book collections, unknown to scholars and public alike. Now reissued a century after its first publication, Joseph J. Walters's Guanya Pau can be reread in the context of a varied and vigorous African literature. Its subject and the author's outlook make it remarkably modern.

Guanya Pau deals with the desire of Guanya, an African princess, to escape a repulsive fate: betrothal to a wealthy man twenty years older than she. Worse, he is a polygamist, compensating for his own ugliness with the beauty of many wives. Guanya must combat his eagerness, her mother's wish, and a tribal tradition that is as entrenched as it is oppressive. When she cannot fight, she flees, encountering fierce anti-feminine practices everywhere she goes.

 

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User Review  - elephant_issues - LibraryThing

Guanya Pau has the distinction of being the first complete, novel-length work of fiction in English by an African author. As such, it is invaluable in terms of historical study, but the story itself ... Read full review

Guanya Pau: a story of an African princess

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This claims to be the first novel ever published in English by an African. Liberian-born Walters produced the novel in 1891 when studying in the United States. The plot follows the woes of title ... Read full review

Contents

Guanya Paus Father
1
Guanya Paus Early Life
7
The Gregree Bush
13
Kai Kundus Visit
16
Guanya Pau Runs Away
19
Prince Marannah
27
The Wayside Woman 3 2
32
The Sembey Court
40
Caught
62
Escape
68
The Mohammedan Missionary
73
On the Farm
80
OutAFishing
85
Good News
91
Guanya Paus Two Dreams
99
A Sufferer
103

Sundry Experiences
47
to The Dead Nobleman
53
The Beautiful Sceneries
59
Sunshine and Storm
106
The End
110
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About the author (1994)

Joseph J. Walters, a Vai born in Liberia in the 1860s, was first educated in Robertsport, Liberia. He continued his studies in the United States, earning a Bachelor of Arts at Oberlin College in 1893. He then returned to Liberia, where he died in 1934 of tuberculosis contracted when in the United States. Oyekan Owomoyela is the editor of A History of Twentieth-Century African Literatures (Nebraska 1993).

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