Stephanie Newell is a professor of English at the University of Sussex, UK, and the author of West African Literature: Ways of Reading, Literary Culture in Colonial Ghana, and Ghanaian Popular Fiction: How to Play the Game of Life.
Listed in: Biography, Literary Figures · African Studies · Book and Periodical Studies · LGBT Studies · Media Studies · Ghana · Western Africa · Nigeria · Literary Criticism, Africa · African History · Literary Studies
Between the 1880s and the 1940s, the region known as British West Africa became a dynamic zone of literary creativity and textual experimentation. African-owned newspapers offered local writers numerous opportunities to contribute material for publication, and editors repeatedly defined the press as a vehicle to host public debates rather than simply as an organ to disseminate news or editorial ideology.
In The Forger’s Tale Stephanie Newell draws on queer theory, African gender debates, and “new imperial history” to chart the story of the English novelist and poet John Moray Stuart-Young (1881–1939) as he traveled from the slums of Manchester to West Africa in order to escape the homophobic prejudices of late-Victorian society.
This is a study of the ‘unofficial’ side of African fiction—the largely undocumented writing, publishing, and reading of pamphlets and paperbacks—which exists outside the grid of mass production. Stephanie Newell examines the popular fiction of Ghana produced since the 1930s, analyzing the distinctive ways in which narrative forms are borrowed and regenerated by authors and readers.