This study contextualizes magical realism within current debates and theories of postcoloniality and examines the fiction of three of its West African pioneers: Syl Cheney-Coker of Sierra Leone, Ben Okri of Nigeria and Kojo Laing of Ghana. Brenda Cooper explores the distinct elements of the genre in a West African context, and in relation to:
* a range of global expressions of magical realism, from the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez to that of Salman Rushdie
* wider contemporary trends in African writing, with particular attention to how the realism of authors such as Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka has been connected with nationalist agendas.
This is a fascinating and important work for all those working on African literature, magical realism, or postcoloniality.

chapter |14 pages

Seeing with a Third Eye

chapter |22 pages

‘Sacred Names into Profane Spaces'

Magical realism

chapter |30 pages

An Endless Forest of Terrible Creatures

Magical realism in West Africa

chapter |48 pages

‘Out of the Centre of My Forehead, an Eye Opened'

Ben Okri's The Famished Road

chapter |41 pages

‘The Plantation Blood in his Veins'

Syl Cheney-Coker and The Last Harmattan of Alusine Dunbar

chapter |11 pages

‘Old Gods, New Worlds'

Some conclusions