“This is an extremely well written and carefully argued book that is quite persuasive. It should be essential reading for every scholar in African literature.” —Research in African Literatures
“ . . . a bold challenge and a tool for the student as well as for the scholar in African literature, and also a veritable tour de force in comparative literature.” —World Literature Today
“Eileen Julien has produced an astute, well-researched, and lucidly written text on issues of orality in African literature.” —International Journal of African Historical Studies
“ . . . a joy to read because of the precious clarity, infectious liveliness and concision with which Julien writes.” —African Studies Review
The search for oral origins in African literature is a quest for African authenticity. In a critique and revision of the conceptual category of orality as it has been understood and used by scholars, Julien stresses the transformation of narrative genres as an index of sociopolitical relations and authorial vision.