The time period of 1990-2010 marks a significant moment in Spanish literary publishing that emphasized a new focus on Africa and African voices and signaled the beginning of a publishing boom of Hispano-African authors and themes. Africa in the Contemporary Spanish Novel, 1990-2010 analyzes the strategies that Spanish and Hispano-African authors employ when writing about Africa in the contemporary Spanish novel. Focusing on the former Spanish colonial territories of Morocco, Western Sahara, and Equatorial Guinea, Mahan L. Ellison analyzes the post-colonial literary discourse about these regions at the turn of the twenty-first century. He examines the new ways of conceptualizing Africa that depart from an Orientalist framework as advanced by novelists such as Lorenzo Silva, Concha López Sarasúa, Ramón Mayrata, and others. Throughout, Ellison also places the novels within their historical context, specifically engaging with the theoretical ideas of Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978), to determine to what extent his analysis of Orientalist discourse still holds value for a study of the Spanish novel of thirty years later.
Mahan L. Ellison is associate professor of Spanish at Bridgewater College.
Chapter 1: War, Diplomacy, Decolonization, and the Other
Chapter 2: Gender and the Other
Chapter 3: Travel and the Other
Ellison offers a sophisticated reading of Spanish and Hispano-African literature that acknowledges the dynamic and complex processes of mutual othering that characterize hybrid cultural production. His work highlights the multiple ways in which communities on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar struggle to find viable ways to position themselves in an increasingly global cultural field. Ellison's selection of texts and well-researched analysis provides an insightful chronicle of the evolving relations between Spain and Africa during the past seventy years.
This groundbreaking study of authors writing Africa and the African Other offers a fresh way to think about Orientalism. Ellison's immensely readable book deftly analyzes the work of nine authors to identify a new and encouraging trend in (the undermining of) Orientalist discourse in contemporary Spanish fiction. Innovative in its focus on Hispano-African literature as well as in terms of its theoretical interventions, this book will be essential reading for scholars of Hispanic studies, postcolonial studies, and African cultural studies.
This study on works that contest discursively constructed superiority of cultures navigates writings from the different regions of Spain’s colonial presence in Africa with dexterity. The book carefully teases out the nuances and peculiarities that each area contributes to discussions surrounding otherness. It helps readers to reflect more clearly on the heterogeneity of otherness that a recognition and consideration of Hispano-African voices in Peninsular literature makes possible. The study is comprehensive in its scope, lucid in its analyses, and masterful in its handling of diverse writers and the issues they bring up. This is an absolutely important contribution to the growing literature on Peninsular and Hispanophone studies.