Anglophone African Detective Fiction 1940-2020
Title Details

244 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

5 b/w illus.

Series: African Articulations

Series Vol. Number: 12

Imprint: James Currey

Anglophone African Detective Fiction 1940-2020

The State, the Citizen, and the Sovereign Ideal

by Matthew J. Christensen

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
Providing a survey of Anglophone African detective fiction, from the late 1940s to the present day, this study traces its history both as a literary form and a mode of critical exploration of the fraught sovereignties of the African state and its citizens.

Since the late 1940s, African writers including Cyprian Ekwensi, Arthur Maimane, Adaora Lily Ulasi, Hilary Ng'weno, Unity Dow, Parker Bilal, and Angela Makholwa have published over 200 murder mysteries, police procedurals, spy thrillers, and other fictional narratives of investigation and discovery in English-language newspapers, magazines, and novels. Distributed widely across the continent's diverse cultural and political geographies, these texts share aesthetic characteristics and thematic preoccupations that reflect transnational networks of production, circulation, and influence.
Anglophone African Detective Fiction, 1940-2020 surveys this literary history and examines how African writers have repeatedly harnessed the detective story to interrogate postcolonial realities of selfhood and the state. It argues that African writers have turned the detective story into a highly productive, while at the same time suspense-filled and entertaining, mode of social and political critique, first of colonialism and the independence era and latterly of neoliberal governance. Offering an overview of paradigmatic texts, from Ghana to Kenya and Sudan to South Africa, the book traces the contours of the history of Anglophone African detective fiction that is at once a cultural history of a uniquely African assessment of the ongoing problematics of sovereignty and decolonization.
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction

Part 1: Africanizing Detective Fiction's Un/Sovereign Subjects
1. Dispossession, Rescue, and the Sovereign Self in the Colonial-Era Detective Story
2. Sovereign States: Police Investigators, Secret Agents, and Sleuthing Citizens after
Independence
3. Decolonization Arrested
Part 2: Neoliberal Noir
4. Neoliberal Noir
5. Seriality, Stasis, and the Neoliberal State
6. Managed Risk and the Deadly Allure of Transparency

Conclusion: Detective Fiction and the Future Imperfect
An Anglophone African Detective Fiction Bibliography, 1940-2023
Bibliography
Index

MATTHEW J. CHRISTENSEN is Professor, Department of Literatures and Cultural Studies, University of Texas. He is the author of Rebellious Histories: The Amistad Slave Revolt and the Cultures of Late Twentieth-Century Black Transnationalism (2012) and editor of Staging the Amistad: Three Sierra Leonean Plays (2019).

Hardcover

9781847013873

March 2024

£75.00 / $110.00

Shipping Options

Pre-order Title will ship by the publication date

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Ebook (EPDF)

9781805432425

March 2024

£24.99 / $29.95

Forthcoming

Ebook (EPUB)

9781805432432

March 2024

£24.99 / $29.95

Forthcoming

Title Details

244 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

5 b/w illus.

Series: African Articulations

Series Vol. Number: 12

Imprint: James Currey