Achebe and Friends at Umuahia (African Edition)
Title Details

216 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

10 b/w. 1 line. Illustrations

Series: African Articulations

Imprint: James Currey

Achebe and Friends at Umuahia (African Edition)

The Making of a Literary Elite

by Terri Ochiagha

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
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The author meticulously contextualises the experiences of Achebe and his peers as students at Government College Umuahia and argues for a re-assessment of this influential group of Nigerian writers in relation to the literary culture fostered by the school and its tutors.
WINNER OF THE ASAUK FAGE & OLIVER PRIZE 2016

This is the first in-depth scholarly study of the literary awakening of the young intellectuals who became known as Nigeria's "first-generation" writers in the post-colonialperiod. Terri Ochiagha's research focuses on Chinua Achebe, Elechi Amadi, Chike Momah, Christopher Okigbo and Chukwuemeka Ike, and also discusses the experiences of Gabriel Okara, Ken Saro-Wiwa and I.C. Aniebo, in the context of their education in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s at Government College, Umuahia. The author provides fresh perspectives on Postcolonial and World literary processes, colonial education in British Africa, literary representations of colonialism and Chinua Achebe's seminal position in African literature. She demonstrates how each of the writers used this very particular education to shape their own visions of the world in which they operated and examines the implications that this had for African literature as a whole.

Supplementary material is available online of some of the original sources. See: http://boybrew.co/9781847011091_2

Terri Ochiagha holds one of the prestigious British Academy Newton International Fellowships (2014-16) hosted by the School of English, University of Sussex. She was previously a Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College, University of Oxford.
Introduction: The Umuahian Connection - Terri Ochiagha
Laying the Foundation: The Fisher Days, 1929-1939
"The Eton of the East": William Simpson and the Umuahian Renaissance
Studying the Humanities at Government College, Umuahia
Young Political Renegades: Nationalist Undercurrents at Government College, Umuahia, 1944-1945
"Something New in Ourselves": First Literary Aspirations
The Dangerous Potency of the Crossroads: Colonial Mimicry in Ike, Momah & Okigbo's Reimaginings of the Primus Inter Pares Years
An Uncertain Legacy: I.N.C. Aniebo and Ken Saro-Wiwa in the Umuahia of the 1950s
The Will to Shine as One: Affiliation and Friendship beyond the College Walls
Appendices
"Ochiagha's book on the school and its prodigies is well researched and engagingly readable. She displays the precision of an archaeologist, the pedantic nature of a historian, the intuition of an anthropologist and the vivid, engaged imagination of a literary critic in her writing. The dedication she shows, in building up the lives of these iconic writers from various sources, including their school assignments, is extremely impressive...Ochiagha has done literary history a great service." THE JOHANNESBURG REVIEW OF BOOKS
"This is an eminently readable book...Ochiagha is a clear and capable writer... Achebe and Friends certainly adds to our understanding of how a group of 1940s Nigerians schoolboys acquired the intellectual education which was a necessary precursor to the extraordinary literature that five of them went on to produce." LUCAS BULLETIN
"Offers compelling insights into the development of Nigeria's most celebrated writers, and provides a much-needed account of how their education at Umuahia contributed to their success." TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
"Proof that education has the power to change the world can be found in the story told in this groundbreaking book." TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT
"Groundbreaking on many fronts. Not only is it 'the first in-depth scholarly study of the literary awakening of the young intellectuals who became known as Nigeria's 'first-generation' writers in the post-colonial period'; it also, subtly, proposes a new framework for receiving and interrogating the works of said writers." TORCH
"A major study....this book is a new perspective on British colonial education in Nigeria and the development of Nigeria's modern literature, especially in the way the writers' visions were shaped to re-inscribe African literature." AFRICA BOOK LINK
"Terri Ochiagha's Achebe and Friends answers one of the outstanding questions in African literary history: Why did the most important group of pioneer writers emerge from one institution in Eastern Nigeria in the last decades of colonial rule? ...This is a remarkable book on the origins of African literature and an unmatched model of how to do the literary history of the postcolonial world." Robert Schirmer Professor of English, Princeton University, SIMON GIKANDI
Title Details

216 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

10 b/w. 1 line. Illustrations

Series: African Articulations

Imprint: James Currey