Guanya Pau: A Story of an African Princess

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Broadview Press, Nov 16, 2004 - Fiction - 205 pages
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The first book of long fiction by an African to be published in English, this novel tells the story of a young woman of the Vai people in Liberia. Guanya Pau, betrothed as a child to a much older, polygamous man, flees her home rather than be forced into marriage, and the novel recounts her subsequent efforts to reach the Christian community where the man she loves awaits her. Joseph Jeffrey Walters was a Vai man who converted to Christianity, and this, his only novel, is a remarkably complex work, embracing both Christian beliefs and a deep pride in his African heritage.

This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction that locates the novel in the context of Vai culture and the history of African missions, and a rich selection of historical documents relating to the education of African women, the Vai writing system, and the author’s life.

 

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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

Acknowledgments
7
A Brief Chronology
61
A Note on the Text
63
Introductory Notes to Guanya Pau
65
A STORY OF AN AFRICAN PRINCESS
69
From Sir Arthur Helps Friends in Council 1853
155
Charles C PenickThe Devil Bush of West Africa 1893
160
Excerpts from three books by Thomas Besolow 1890 1891 1892
168
The Vai Writing System
177
Letters and Articles by Joseph Jeffrey Walters
179
Obituaries of Joseph Jeffrey Walters
197
Bibliography
201
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Gareth Griffiths is a Professor of English at the University of Western Australia. He is the author of African Literatures in English (East and West) (2000) and the co-editor of The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures (1998).

John Victor Singler is a Professor of Linguistics at New York University and the author of An Introduction to Liberian English (1981) and numerous articles on English and the other languages of Liberia.

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