New book ‘Critical Perspective on Nduka Otiono’ for release in April

A groundbreaking scholarly exploration into the intellectual and creative realms of Nigerian Canadian writer, academic and journalist Nduka Otiono is set to captivate readers worldwide with the upcoming publication of “Critical Perspectives on Nduka Otiono.” 

This eagerly anticipated book, slated for release in April, promises to be a beacon for scholars, literary enthusiasts and cultural critics alike, according to a statement.

Authored by a diverse assembly of 19 distinguished and emerging scholars, the volume delves deep into the multifaceted oeuvre of Otiono. 

Predicated on Otiono’s fiction and poetry and how his central theoretical/conceptual model, “street stories,” expand postcolonial studies, the volume offers fresh insights into Otiono’s contributions to African cultural studies, postcolonial literature, and media practice, especially in the literary journalism genre.  The book spotlights the writings of the author and co-editor of 10 books of creative writing and scholarship, as well as scores of scholarly and non-refereed articles. 

“Critical Perspectives” invites us to critically engage with the writings of Otiono’s generation of Nigerian writers often characterised as the “third generation.”

The scope and depth of the book would engage the attention of students, scholars, literary critics, writers, and the general reader interested in postcolonial literature, performance studies, cultural studies, critical theory, literary history, media studies, and popular culture.  

A sneak preview of the blurbs of the book shared by the editors reveals the following compliments by renowned academics, writers, and media icons: 

“Nduka Otiono’s work does it all: from scholarship on street stories, to fiction and poetry that imagine postcolonial futures, to a memoir-poetics that creates experimental accounts of the flows of migration and the experience of displacement, the sweep and diversity of Otiono’s vision requires critical nuance and passionate readings. Critical Perspectives on Nduka Otiono provides both: its essays honour what this important voice for Nigeria and Canada has to say and assures Otiono’s place in Nigerian and Canadian letters.” —Julie Rak, FRSC, HM Tory Chair and Professor, University of Alberta.

“A testament that great art should not be a neutral endeavour and that energies from the street are best harnessed by keen observation of decolonial communal impulses that define our everyday life. The editors and contributors to this book deserve our applause for immersive critiques of Otiono’s multifaceted tapestry of achievements.”—Nnimmo Bassey, ecological justice advocate, poet, architect, pastor, recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, and author of I See the Invisible (poetry).

“An outstanding publication…on the oeuvre of one of the most important Nigerian-Canadian …intellectuals…with tentacles spread across genres and fields, including literature, scholarship, cultural production and print media…This phenomenal book, steeped in interdisciplinary studies and with impactful essays written by renowned and emerging scholars, would undoubtedly, enrich the criticism of African and African Diaspora literary and cultural productions.” —Akachi T. Ezeigbo, FNAL, FLSN, FESAN, FANA. Professor of English, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike & Chair, Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature.

“I have long admired Nduka Otiono for the breadth of his professional interests, his vast and varied creative projects, and the impressive range of his academic explorations. This capacious book pays due homage to the man’s outstanding work as a cultural entrepreneur, his vitality as a poet and fictionist, and the interdisciplinary impetus of his scholarship.” —Okey Ndibe, novelist, essayist, and author of Foreign Gods Inc. and Never Look an American in the Eye.

“In this seminal work, the editors deserve full credits for excellently locating Nduka Otiono, the famed cultural activist and intellectual, at the nexus of Nigeria’s sociopolitical currents, and succeed in offering a competent aesthetics and historical account of one of Africa’s truly accomplished writers, literary scholars, and journalists.” —Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher, Premium Times, Nigeria.

All these endorsements attest to the importance of the work and position Critical Perspectives as a seminal text to glean, not only Otiono’s media poetics and scholarly writings, but his role in shaping important intellectual and cultural developments in the last three decades.

The lead editor of the volume is Chris Dunton, a retired Professor of Literature in English, former Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities at The National University of Lesotho, Roma, author of the seminal study on Nigerian Drama since the seventies titled Make Man Talk True: Nigerian Drama in English since the 1970s and Nigerian Theatre in English: A Critical Bibliography. The co-editors are Mathias Iroro Orhero and Ndubuisi Martins Aniemeka, both emerging scholars of African Literature and cultural theory. Orhero specialises on minority and postcolonial discourse in the context of Nigeria’s Niger Delta and Black Canada. Ndubuisi Martins Aniemeka is a poet and literary scholar whose current interest is theorising Anglophone poetry through a new critical lens that he has identified as the “Signifying Chameleon”. 

“Critical Perspectives on Nduka Otiono” is being simultaneously published by Pan-African University Press, U.S.A and Narrative Landscape Press, Lagos, and would be released on the April 20th, 2024.


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