The Publishing of African literature: Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong'o and the Heinemann African Writers Series 1962 - 1988

Bejjit, Nourdin (2009). The Publishing of African literature: Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong'o and the Heinemann African Writers Series 1962 - 1988. PhD thesis The Open University.



Since its launch in 1962, Heinemann Educational Books' African Writers Series has played a crucial role in the dissemination of African literature worldwide, and contributed to the creation of critical awareness among readers and critics of its distinct qualities and values. While the creative works of celebrated African writers such as Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong'o have enjoyed a wide popularity, and elicited an important amount of critical attention, the role of HEB in promoting the literary careers of a whole generation of African writers has rarely been discussed and analysed. In particular, very little has been written about either the relationship of Achebe or Ngugi with the HEB publishers or about the publishing processes of their works. This dissertation is a modest contribution to this still unexplored field of research. Drawing on the archives of AWS housed at the University of Reading and Harvard University, and on recent interviews conducted with some of the Series' major editors, this dissertation endeavours to provide firsthand information on the extraordinary circumstances which led to the creation and enduring success of the AWS series. It also provides a careful assessment of the long association which HEB had with Achebe and Ngugi, and offers elaborate accounts of the editorial processes of a number of their novels and plays.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 60188
  • Item Type
  • PhD Thesis
  • Keywords
  • William Heinemann; Heinemann Educational Books; African Writers Series; African literature; Chinua Achebe; Ngugi wa Thiong'o; James Ngugi; Alan Hill; Keith Sambrook; James Currey; Henry Chakava; Aig Higo; manuscript; paperback; hardcover; book review; publishing; editing; Ibadan; Nairobi; London
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > English & Creative Writing
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2009 The Author
  • Depositing User
  • ORO Import