The Past is prologue

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Anyokwu, C
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African Writing Online Magazine
African writers of fiction have long reconciled themselves to the so-called ‘fatalistic logic’ in the use of European languages such as Portuguese, French and English in the production and criticism of African literature. This is following the writers’ unwillingness to adopt a single or a group of indigenous African languages for the writing of African literatures. It has thus become fashionable for African writers of literature of English expression to fashion out an English which incorporates local African speech patterns and oral resources to convey their peculiar experience. Karen King-Aribisala, a Guyanese-Nigerian novelist and short story writer also adopts in her work, particularly The Hangman’s Game a variety of English somewhat different from the “standard” form in depicting the historical challenges which her native Guyana and her adopted country, Nigeria, have had to meet and in their common struggle for socio-economic and political emancipation from British imperialism and postcolonial contradictions. In this paper, therefore, we examine her handling of English, and the role of the language itself in shaping social life in Africa and its Diaspora.
Slavery , Culture , Politics
African Writing Online, 10