Essay by bhavnabhalla May 2005

download word file, 3 pages 4.3

"In much of what has been known for 40 years as the Third World, book publishing today is in a state of despondency and frustration, and it is hard to find, in the lush pastures of the Euro American book industry, anyone who cares. Cross-border publishing investment readily crosses the Atlantic in both directions, but does not venture southwards. Latin America, Africa and most of Asia still are seen primarily as export markets, and difficult ones at that."

(Gordon Graham, Publisher's Weekly, 15 February, 1991)

The crisis in African writing is very much evident through this statement as the African

writers are facing not only the problems of language but also the problems of

publication and recognition, which is lacking in general for them because of the lack of


Going step by step to render the difficulties confronted by the African writers the

picture that will appear will truly reflect the sorry state of affairs for them.

While writing

something, the first thing that is required is the manuscript. To write the manuscripts, the

basic problem for the writer is that of the language. There was a dilemma in them to select

English as a medium of communication as the Dark Continent is known for its various local

languages. A child acquires his native language very easily and becomes a master in that. But

because of the colonization these writers selected the English language to give air to their

thoughts and feelings. The effect of colonization was so profound on them that it shattered

the harmony between their native language and the language that they used in their schools.

Their language was no longer treated as valid in the schools run by the missionaries. As a

result English acquired the dominant part in their writings as it became the...