Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The Problem of the African Reader
The Problem? Some might wonder why Africa has always to be associated with problems. Perhaps this author means challenges or perhaps just plain African Literature and its readership. But the essay is interesting.
Every so often, a writer fires some missive on a blog, some minor journal or even a major newspaper eloquently stating the reason why they are a “writer” and NOT an “African writer”. The writer (usually with an African sounding name) then goes on to explain that Western writers somehow do not suffer this existential burden of a limiting label. “White writers” are simply “writers”, period, and if the African writer wishes to be appreciated by a wider audience, then they must cast off this label so they can become a “writer”.