The multitudinous nature of African literature has always been an issue but really not a problem, although its oral base has been used by expatriate critics to accuse African literature of thin plots, superficial characterisation, and narrative structures. African literature also, it is observed, is a mixed grill: it is oral; it is written in vernacular or tribal tongues; written in foreign tongues English, French, Portuguese and within the foreign language in which it is written, pidgin and creole further bend the already bent language giving African literature a further taint of linguistic impurity.
African literature further suffers from the nature of its "newness" and this created problems for the critic. Because it is new, and because its critics are in simultaneous existence with its writers, we confront the problem of "instant analysis". Issues in African Literature continues the debate and tries to clarify contemporary burning issues in African literature, by focussing on particular areas where the debate has been most concerned or around which it has hovered and been persistent.
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