Postcolonial literature is the literature of the people of pre-colonial countries. It is present on all continents except Antarctica. Post-colonial literature often addresses the problems and consequences of colonialism in a country, particularly the political and cultural freedoms of formerly subjugated peoples, and questions relating to topics such as racism and colonialism. A range of literary theories has developed around this topic. It addresses the role of literature in challenging what the post-colonial critic Edward Said referred to as cultural imperialism.
A critical point of view
Postcolonial literature in Africa refers in general to the era between 1960 and 1970, during which time many African nations gained political independence from their colonial rulers. Many authors writing during the time and even during colonial times, saw themselves as both artists and political activists. Their works reflected their concerns regarding the political and social conditions of their countries.
Following the Independence in the late 1800s, a large portion of postcolonial writing is a reflection of the idea of hope and freedom that characterized societies and cultures. The postcolonial writers in Africa started to express the horrors that their countries endured after decolonization. Their writing often reflects an underlying sense of sadness and anger at the conditions of their nation along with the rulers who replaced the former oppressors from colonial times. Critics, such as Neil Lazarus, have proposed that this feeling of despair, as seen in the writings of such writers as Ayi Kwei Armah was the start of a massive shift in African literary and intellectual growth.
In the 1970s In the 1970s, says Lazarus The development of African fiction changed and writers began to develop new expressions that express more clearly their personal views about politics and culture in their writings. The writing of this time and later departs from the topic of postcolonial Africa and into the realm of fresh and realist texts that address the needs of their respective countries.