Oral Epics from Africa

Oral Epics from Africa : Vibrant Voices from a Vast Continent

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Description

It seems incredible that heretofore there has not been an introductory anthology of African epics presented in English. Western culture traces its literary heritage to such well-known epics as the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" and "Gilgamesh". But is only recently that scholars have turned their attention toward capturing the rich oral tradition that is still alive in Africa today. The twenty-five excerpts in this volume have been selected and introduced in order to offer English-speaking readers a broad sample of the extensive epic traditions in Africa. The introduction to the volume, and the introduction to each epic will enable students to understand the context of each epic and also develop leads for further inquiry. The book is divided geographically with nineteen epics representing West Africa, two from North Africa, and four from Central Africa. There are bibliographies for each section and epic.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 356 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.1 x 22.9mm | 589.68g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0253211107
  • 9780253211101
  • 2,016,734

Back cover copy

It seems incredible that heretofore there has not been an introductory anthology of African epics presented in English. Western literary culture has long emphasized the heritage of such well-known epics as the Iliad, the Odyssey, and Aeneid. But it is only recently that scholars have turned their attention toward capturing the rich oral tradition that is still alive in Africa. The twenty-five excerpts in this volume have been selected and introduced so as to offer English-speaking readers a broad sample of the extensive epic traditions in Africa. The general introduction and the background on each epic will enable readers to understand the context of each epic and will also provide leads for further inquiry.show more

Review quote

"The editors ... must be congratulated ... Long live the African storytellers!" Africa Today "It is difficult to imagine a more practical introduction to contemporary African epic than this anthology ... no other single volume comprehends the full scope of African epic (as opposed to praise poetry) the way this one does... The stories are engaging, and the free-verse translations are surprisingly readable... Recommended for all academic collections." Choiceshow more

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