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34.2 | 2012

Edited by Claire Omhovère

Out of the twelve contributions that compose Commonwealth Essays and Studies 34.2, six of the essays and one of the reviews engage with poetry and fiction from the African continent, from South Africa and Botswana to Nigeria. Diverse as the objects of their investigations may be, the contributors have opted for approaches that vindicate the choice of the title “Reappraisals” for the whole volume, either because they approach canonical writers such as Chinua Achebe or Bessie Head from fresh perspectives, or because they choose to assess the impact of portentous historical transitions upon the literary output of Nigeria after the Civil War and the Rainbow Nation almost a full decade after its coming into existence. The three essays concluding this volume move to scenes beyond the African continent, but reappraisal remains their strong focus with a pioneer study on the influence of Zen and Buddhism on Janet Frame’s writing, a daring re-reading of Grimus—Salman Rushdie’s first and perhaps most neglected novel—and, finally, a study retracing the evolution of animal imagery in Derek Walcott’s poetry, from his early publications to his latest collections of poems.

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