Fiction as History – Resistance and Complicities in Angolan Postcolonial Literature
Modern Humanities Research Association, Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures, 58
September 2022 • 188pp
ISBN: 978-1-839541-60-5 (hardback) • RRP £85, $115, €99
ISBN: 978-1-839541-61-2 (paperback, forthcoming)
ISBN: 978-1-839541-62-9 (JSTOR ebook)
Fiction as History is an interdisciplinary analysis of over twenty Angolan novels written from the 1960s to the 2010s by some of the country’s most celebrated writers: Pepetela, Manuel dos Santos Lima, Manuel Pacavira, Manuel Rui, Boaventura Cardoso, José Eduardo Agualusa, Sousa Jamba and Ondjaki. Boulanger examines how fiction played a key role in shaping Angolan national identity and denouncing Portuguese colonial propaganda. In a country where many authors became state officials and members of the ruling party after independence, she uncovers also the interplay of literary resistance and complicities, and Angolan writers’ own political, social and male biases.
Rejecting Western academic separations of literature and history, power and poetics, this study centres African historiographies and modes of storytelling to focus on Angolan writers’ own retelling of their country’s distant and more recent past, from the Atlantic slave-trade and the creation of the Creole elite to the anticolonial armed struggle or the failed coup attempt of 27 May 1977.
Dr Dorothée Boulanger is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford, and a Junior Research Fellow of Jesus College.
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