Addressing a neglected dimension in postcolonial scholarship, Oliver Lovesey examines the figure of the postcolonial intellectual, as repeatedly evoked by the fabled troika of Said, Spivak, and Bhabha and by members of the pan-African diaspora such as Cabral, Fanon, and James.
Lovesey’s primary focus is Ngugi wa Thiong’o, one of the greatest writers of post-independence Africa.
Lovesey’s comprehensive study concentrates on Ngugi’s non-fictional prose writings, including his largely overlooked early journalism and his most recent autobiographical and theoretical work.
He offers a postcolonial critique that acknowledges Ngugi’s complex position as a virtual spokesperson for the oppressed and global conscience who now speaks from a location of privilege.
Ngugi’s writings, Lovesey shows, display a seemingly paradoxical consistency in their concerns over nearly five decades at the same time that there have been enormous transformations in his ideology and a shift in his focus from Africa’s holocaust to Africa’s renaissance.
Lovesey argues for Ngugi’s rightful position as a major postcolonial theorist who helped establish postcolonial studies.