Critical studies of African literature, especially those treating colonial-era vels, have typically taken the form of thematic analyses. In an important departure from this trend, The Liminal Novel concentrates instead on how meaning is achieved in three African vels of the 1950s - Camara Laye's L'enfant ir, Hamidou Kane's L'aventure ambigue, and Mongo Beti's Mission terminee. The analysis offered here is invative on at least two counts. First, appropriating the anthropological rite of passage model, it argues convincingly for a reclassification of the three vels as members of a subset within the genre of Bildungsroman. Second, while illuminating the artistic dimensions of these works through careful scrutiny of imagery, setting, and discourse, The Liminal Novel also provides a new and valuable tool for reading many colonial coming-of-age vels.
The Author: Wangari wa Nyatetu-Waigwa is an assistant professor of French language and literature at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. She received her B.A. from the Universite de Dijon, France and her Ph.D. in French literature from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Her current research focuses on African and Caribbean women writers.
Wangari wa Nyatetu-Waigwa
Peter Lang Publishing Inc
Date of Publication
American University Studies Series 18: African Literature