- About the book
DetailsFrom New National to World English Literature offers a personal perspective on the evolution of a major cultural movement that began with decolonization, continued with the assertion of African, West Indian, Commonwealth, and other literatures, and has evolved through postcolonial to world or international English literature. Bruce King’s extensive Introduction discusses the personalities, writers, issues, and contexts of what he considers the most important change in culture since Modernism. The Introduction also explains the forty-five essays and reviews he has selected from his publications to illustrate the development, stages, and major national literatures, authors, and themes. Special attention is given to Nigerian, West Indian, Australian, Indian, and Pakistani literature. Topics and issues include: “Derry” Jeffares organising Commonwealth and Anglo-Irish studies, the emergence and aesthetics of African literature, the question of the existence of a “Nigerian literature”, the place of the new universities in decolonizing culture, the influence of the Rockefeller Foundation, the contrasting models of American and Irish literatures, ethnicity as response , the changing nature of exile and diasporas, the role of Jewish writers, minorities, Muslim objections to free speech, The Satanic Verses controversy, traditionalism versus modernism, the dangers of cultural assertion, and the relationships between nationalism and internationalism. Authors discussed include Chinua Achebe, Ahmed Ali, Margaret Atwood, David Dabydeen, K N Daruwalla, Nissim Ezekiel, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Almagir Hashmi, Attia Hosain, A D Hope, Adil Jussawalla, Arun Kolatkar, Hanif Kureishi, Dom Moraes, Frank Moorhouse, V S Naipaul, Abioseh Nicol, Gabriel Okara, Mike Phillips, Mordechai Richler, Salman Rushdie, Wole Soyinka, Garth St Omer, Kamila Shamsie, Randolph Stow, Jeet Thayil, and Derek Walcott.
- The author
About the authorBruce King, an American, lives in Paris. One of the pioneers in the study of the new national literatures and a still active literary critic, he has held positions, including distinguished professorships, at universities in Canada, England, France, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, and the United States. His many publications include New English Literatures: Cultural Nationalism in a Changing World (1980), Modern Indian Poetry in English (1987, revised 2001) Three Indian Poets (1991, revised 2005), V S Naipaul (1993, revised 2003), Derek Walcott and West Indian Drama (1995), Derek Walcott: A Caribbean Life (2000), The Internationalization of English Literature (2004), and ReWriting India (2014).
Reviews"[Bruce King's] critical gaze, never fashionable, always up close and engaged, can be so penetrating of the text and illuminating of context that all writers wish that gaze were turned more often on their works. His collection of essays, wide ranging and present at the inception of all the important currents in post-colonial thought, is a cause for celebration."—Fred D'Aguiar, University of California
"Impressive in range, scope and insight, these articles are still on the cutting edge of criticism. […]
This collection of essays is a must-read for anyone interested in World English literatures.
By mapping the genealogy of a developing body of literature and of its corresponding critical field in the making, it also represents an invaluable contribution to literary history."—Laetitia Zecchini, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Sciences Humaines, Paris
"This is a pioneering book of essays. Dr King could well be the Dr Livingstone of World English Literature."—Arvind Krishna Mehrotra
“From New National to World Literature is a well-written, well-produced volume that will prove invaluable to students of the contemporary literary scene. […] It provides a fresh reflection on the history and value of world literature and will no doubt make a significant contribution to the ongoing discussion about new literatures.” —Wasafiri Magazine, issue 94, 2018
"Readers will benefit from the generous bibliographies appended to most of the essays and reviews. More broadly, reading the criticism alongside the memoir will enhance one’s understanding of the way literature is produced out of milieus in which writers can rub shoulders, argue, and chat."—Kaiser Haq, CROSSINGS vol. 11, 2020
- Additional Information