Ebrahim Hussein: Theatre swahili et nationalisme tanzanien

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Date: Winter 1999
From: Research in African Literatures(Vol. 30, Issue 4)
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Document Type: Book review
Length: 616 words

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Ebrahim Hussein: Theatre swahili et nationalisme tanzanien, by Alain Ricard. Paris: Karthala, 1998. 187 pp. ISBN 2-86537-834-9.

Ebrahim Hussein is a hard sell. He is, after Wole Soyinka and Athol Fugard, the most interesting and gifted dramatist that Africa has produced, yet his name is rarely mentioned in criticism of African literature written in European languages. Alain Ricard's book is the first extended study of Hussein to be published in any language. The reason for this is simple: Hussein writes in Swahili, and his dramatic oeuvre, with the exception of Kinjeketile, remains untranslated into a language of the West.

Swahili literature represents the Bhutan of African literature. Few are the non-natives who undertake the arduous linguistic preparation for the journey to a rich and remote territory. Tanzanians and Kenyans have insufficient clout with Western publishers to focus Western attention on Swahili literature, and the lively discussion of Swahili literature taking place in East Africa...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A57042568