Cover image for Shakespeare in Swahililand : in search of a global poet
Shakespeare in Swahililand : in search of a global poet
Wilson-Lee, Edward, author.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016.
Physical Description:
xvi, 288 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 23 cm
Beginning with Victorian-era expeditions in which the Complete Works of Shakespeare were often the sole reading material carried into the interior of the continent, the Bard became a vital touchstone both for colonizers and the colonized. His plays were printed by liberated slaves as some of the first texts in Swahili, were performed by Indian laborers while they built the Uganda railroad, were used to argue for native rights, and were translated by intellectuals, revolutionaries, and independence-movement leaders. Wilson-Lee tallies Shakespeare's unlikely yet profound emergence and continued presence in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Sudan, and discovers overwhelming evidence that Shakespeare's works provide a key insight into cultural development throughout the region. -- Adapted from jacket flap.
Prelude : Beauty out of place. The Lake Regions: Shakespeare and the explorers -- Zanzibar: Shakespeare and the slaveboy printworks -- Interlude: the Swahili Coast: player-kings of Eastern Africa -- Mombasa: Shakespeare, bard of the railroad -- Nairobi: Expats, emigrés and exile -- Kampala: Shakespeare at school, at war and in prison -- Dar Es Salaam: Shakespeare in power -- Addis Ababa: Shakespeare and the lion of Judah -- Pan Africa: Shakespeare in the Cold War -- Juba: Shakespeare, civil war and reconstruction.

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