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You're Not a Country, Africa

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May 2011
About the book: 

In this wide-ranging collection of essays, Pius Adesanmi explores what Africa means to him as an African and as a citizen of the world. Examining the personal and the political, tradition and modernity, custom and culture, Adesanmi grapples with the complexity and contradictions of this vast continent, zooming in most closely on Nigeria, the country of his birth. The inspiration for the title of the collection, You're Not a Country, Africa, comes from a line of poetry: 'You are not a country Africa, you are a concept, fashioned in our minds, each to each'. The Africa fashioned in our minds - with our fears and our dreams - is the Africa that the reader will encounter in these essays. Through narratives and political and cultural reflections, Pius Adesanmi approaches the meaning of Africa from the perspective that you never actually define Africa: rather, it defines you in various contexts and for various people. Originally from Nigeria and now working as a Professor of English in Ottawa, Canada, Adesanmi is well placed to engage with the issues of identity and otherness; Western influences on Africa; representations of Africa by the Western world, and specific issues affecting his home country - the most populous country on the continent. In the best tradition of African thinking, Adesanmi's writings challenge the way we think about ourselves and others.

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