The Empire Writes Back

The Empire Writes Back : Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures

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The experience of colonization and the challenges of a post-colonial world have produced an explosion of new writing in English. This diverse and powerful body of literature has established a specific practice of post-colonial writing in cultures as various as India, Australia, the West Indies and Canada, and has challenged both the traditional canon and dominant ideas of literature and culture.

The Empire Writes Back was the first major theoretical account of a wide range of post-colonial texts and their relation to the larger issues of post-colonial culture, and remains one of the most significant works published in this field. The authors, three leading figures in post-colonial studies, open up debates about the interrelationships of post-colonial literatures, investigate the powerful forces acting on language in the post-colonial text, and show how these texts constitute a radical critique of Eurocentric notions of literature and language.

This book is brilliant not only for its incisive analysis, but for its accessibility for readers new to the field. Now with an additional chapter and an updated bibliography, The Empire Writes Back is essential for contemporary post-colonial studies.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 21.34mm | 320g
  • Routledge
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 2nd edition
  • notes, bibliography, index
  • 0415280206
  • 9780415280204
  • 62,337

Table of contents

General Editor's Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction - What are post-colonial literatures?, Post-colonial literatures and English Studies, Development of post-colonial literatures, Hegemony, Language, Place and displacement, Post-coloniality and theory; 1. Cutting the ground - critical models of post-colonial literatures - National and regional models, Comparisons between two or more regions, The 'Black writing' model, Wider comparative models, Models of hybridity and syncreticity; 2. Re-placing language - textual strategies in post-colonial writing - Abrogation and appropriation, Language and abrogation, A post-colonial linguistic theory - the Creole continuum, The metonymic function of language variance, Strategies of appropriation in post-colonial writing; 3. Re-placing the text - the liberation of post-colonial writing - The imperial moment - control of the means of communication, Colonialism and silence - Lewis Nkosi's Mating Birds, Colonialism and 'authenticity' - V.S Naipaul's The Mimic Men, Radical Otherness and hybridity - Timothy Findley's Not Wanted on the Voyage, Appropriating marginality - Janet Frame's The Edge of the Alphabet, Appropriating the frame of power - R.K. Narayan's The Vendor of Sweets; 4. Theory at the crossroads - indigenous theory and post-colonial reading - Indian literary theories, African literary theories, The settler colonies, Caribbean theories; 5. Re-placing theory - post-colonial writing and literary theory - Post-colonial literatures and postmodernism, Post-colonial reconstructions - literature, meaning, value, Post-colonialism as a reading strategy, Re-thinking the Post-colonial. Conclusion - More english than English. Reader's guide. Notes. Bibliography. Index.
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About Bill Ashcroft

Bill Ashcroft teaches at the University of New South Wales, Australia, Gareth Griffiths at the University at Albany, USA and Helen Tiffin at the University of Queensland. All three have published widely in post-colonial studies, and together edited the ground-breaking Post-Colonial Studies Reader (1994) and wrote Key Concepts in Post-Colonial Studies (1998).
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525 ratings
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