German publisher Shayol recently published Phantastische Literatur aus Afrika by Christian Hoffmann, a groundbraking survey of science fiction and other phantastic writing from all over the African continent, the first study of its kind that tried to find an answer to the question „Is there phantastic fiction in Africa?“. Here’s a press note:
About 15 years ago German author Christian Hoffmann faced this question and started his investigation about that unusual topic. In the course of time he came across nearly 100 writers in 18 African states, whose work can be assigned to the genres of fantasy, horror, science fiction, or speculative fiction.
In his book Phantastische Literatur aus Africa. Eine Bestandsaufnahme (Phantastic Fiction from Africa An Appraisal), which was recently published by Shayol Verlag in Berlin, Hoffmann introduces the most relevant authors and their works in substantial essays. Among the reviewed authors are: Nagib Mahfouz (Egypt), Mohammed Mrabet (Morocco), Amos Tutuola, Ben Okri and D. O. Fagunwa (Nigeria), Nnedi Okorafor (Nigeria/USA), Birago Diop (Senegal), Syl Cheney-Coker (Sierra Leone), Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (Kenia), Abdourahman A. Waberi (Djibouti),Lauren Beukes, Claude Nunes, J. M. Cotzee (South Africa).
Apart from that, Hoffmann takes a look on the history of African literature and its characteristics.
Another central issue which is discussed in detail is whether our western idea of »fantastic« can be applied to other cultures.
Phantastische Literatur aus Africa. Eine Bestandsaufnahme is the first book worldwide to deal with this exciting subject.
Christian Hoffmann is the author of books about Robert Sheckley, Fritz Leiber and John T. Sladek. Besides he wrote lots of stories, reviews and essays for several German magazines. He lives in Munich, Germany.