Nigerian Literature as Genre

Nigerian Literature

In another class I am taking, we are discussing the basic conventions and restrictions of genre. While reading the article “To Understand the Novel in Nigeria” by Wendi Griswold, I could not help but question “Nigerian Literature” as a genre. Typically, we would not so easily group the entire spectrum of a country or culture’s literature as a genre, however Griswold makes a case that suggests otherwise. There have been a number of different theories about how to define genre. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Economics says that genre is “used interchangeably with ‘type,’ ‘kind,’ and ‘form'” suggesting that there are also a number of misconceptions about genre.

Wendi Griswold describes a number of conventions of the Nigerian novel that certainly fit the bill for genre. The biggest supporting evidence Griswold explores are the reoccurring themes throughout many works. For example, anxiety about reproduction, conflict between tradition/modernity and growing…

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