Writing Madness
Title Details

192 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

24 b/w illus.

Imprint: James Currey

Writing Madness

Borderlines of the Body in African Literature

by Flora Veit-Wild

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  • Reviews
The regional focus is on writers from Southern Africa: Dambudzo Marechera, Lesego Rampolokeng, Bessie Head and Tsitsi Dangarembga, but also included are writers from francophone and East Africa, Sony Labou Tansi and Rebeka Njau.
Introducing the perspective of 'writing madness' into African literature means seeing that literature from a different angle, through the lenses of writers who have ruffled up the surface of realist representation and have explored issues and styles that represent a trespassing of borders, introducing an element of risk and instability.
This study follows the transformation from colonial narratives projecting settlers' horror of the 'heart of darkness' onto the African body and mind, to African writers' interaction with these narratives and their own projections of what constitutes madness in a colonial and postcolonial world, and an analysis of how writing by women displays the gendered violence of the process of mental colonisation.

FLORA VEIT-WILD is Professor in the African Studies Dept at the Humboldt University, Berlin.

North America: Tsehai/African Academic; South Africa: Jacana; Zimbabwe: Weaver Press

Flora Veit-Wild is Emerita Professor of African literatures at Humboldt University, Berlin. She lived in Harare/Zimbabwe from 1983 to 1993 and became known for her work on Zimbabwean literature and as literary executor and biographer of Dambudzo Marechera and a founder member of the Zimbabwe Women Writers. Her numerous publications include studies of body, madness, sexuality and gender in Anglophone and Francophone African writing as well as code-switching and linguistic innovation in Shona literature.

"Serves as a significant resource for both students and scholars interested in representations of madness in African literature. Both should start here, for nowhere else will they find such an extensive and well-researched reference guide; it includes virtually anyone and everyone who has written something about 'madness' on the continent." ENGLISH ACADEMY REVIEW
"Flora Veit-Wild has adopted a unique perspective, or series of perspectives, based on the notion of 'madness'. - perceived madness, madness as device, actual madness, and the world as mad. While the book will mainly interest the whole range of students, teachers and researchers in the field of African literature, it will also be of great interest to social anthropologists and specialists in mental illness.' -" Clive Wake, Emeritus Professor of Modern French & African Literature at the University of Kent, Canterbury
"A book that is bound to stir readers to new and wider intellectual horizons." THE SUNDAY MAIL (JOHANNESBURG)

Paperback

9780852555835

December 2006

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Title Details

192 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

24 b/w illus.

Imprint: James Currey