At the Crossroads : Nigerian Travel Writing and Literary Culture in Yoruba and English

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    • Abstract:
      SHORTLISTED FOR THE ASAUK FAGE & OLIVER PRIZE 2020 A path-breaking contribution to the critical literature on African travel writing.Throughout the twentieth century, Nigerians have been writing about their travels within Nigeria using a variety of media and forms, from serialised newspaper travelogues to personal diaries, autobiographies and online narratives.These works offer important insights into how Nigerians have represented Nigeria to itself and to the world. This is the first book to examine the production of Nigerian travel narratives about Nigeria in the century from colonisation to independence. Rebecca Jones argues that we can read these texts both as the products of a local Nigerian print culture, and through their articulations with global travel writing traditions. Focusing on travel writing published from 1914 to 2014 in the Yoruba-speaking region of southwestern Nigeria, home to a well-established and prolific writing and print culture in both Yoruba and English, this cultural history of Nigerian travel comprisesclose readings of these works, and argues that the production of travel writing in the region can be read not simply as a foreign import, but as a cluster of genres with a cohesive local history. Writers discussed include Samuel Ajayi Crowther, I.B. Thomas, E.A. Akintan, Isaac Delano, D.O. Fagunwa, Amos Tutuola, Ben Okri, Babatunde Shadeko, Damilola Ajenifuja, Chibuzor Mirian Azubuike, Pelu Awofeso, Lape Soetan, Teju Cole, Adewale Maja-Pearce, Noo Saro-Wiwa, and the Invisible Borders collective. Rebecca Jones is a Lecturer in the Department of African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham. Nigeria: Premium Times Books
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