African Writers Series

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This is a set of 15 books. Each set is different with each buy.

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Description

African Writers Series (AWS) is a series of books by African writers that has been published by Heinemann since 1962. The series has ensured an international voice to major African writers—including Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Steve Biko, Ama Ata Aidoo, Nadine Gordimer, Buchi Emecheta, and Okot p’Bitek. The emphasis is on Anglophone Africa. Although a number of volumes were translated into English from French, Portuguese, Zulu, Swahili, Acholi, Sesotho, Afrikaans, Luganda and Arabic.

History

Founded in 1962, the AWS created a forum for many post-independence African writers, and provided texts that African universities could use to address the colonial bias then prominent in the teaching of literature. The books were designed for classroom use, printed solely in paperback to make them affordable for African students. They were published by Heinemann Educational Books (HEB) in London and in various African cities.

The idea of the series came from Heinemann executive Alan Hill, who “recognised that the nascent post-colonial publishing industry was not supporting the growth of original African literature”. The first advisory editor to the series was the Nigerian Chinua Achebe – who became one of Africa’s most famous writers. Achebe focused first on West African writers, but soon the series branched out, publishing the works of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o in East Africa, and Nadine Gordimer in South Africa. Achebe left the editorship in 1972. James Currey, the editorial director at Heinemann Educational Books in charge of the African Writers Series from 1967 to 1984, has provided a book-length treatment of the series entitled Africa Writes Back.

After a fairly successful beginning, the series faced difficulties that mirrored those that faced the continent. By the mid-1980s, Heinemann published only one or two new titles a year, and much of the back catalogue fell out of print. By the early 1990s, however, the series began to revive—having recently branched into new work, republishing originally locally released texts, and releasing translated works.

The AWS was relaunched by Pearson Education in 2011.

Additional information

Weight 0.8 kg
Dimensions 20 cm

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African Writers Series (AWS) is a series of books by African writers that has been published by Heinemann since 1962. The series has ensured an international voice to major African writers—including Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Steve Biko, Ama Ata Aidoo, Nadine Gordimer, Buchi Emecheta, and Okot p'Bitek. The emphasis is on Anglophone Africa, although a number of volumes were translated into English from French, Portuguese, Zulu, Swahili, Acholi, Sesotho, Afrikaans, Luganda and Arabic.