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Critical Perspectives on Mongo Beti

Stephen H. Arnold, editor
ISBN: 978-0-89410-586-9
1998/453 pages/LC: 97-14267
"What a remarkable collection this is! Together the essays make up the most important study we have of this great writer, and they cogently demonstrate why he deserves much more of our attention than he has been given."—Richard K. Priebe, African Studies Review


Mongo Beti is the most prolific and widely read author from Cameroon, and his writings have called world attention to political corruption in his native country. These essays cover the three distinct periods of Beti’s greatest activity as a writer—the first, which ran from 1953 to 1958; the re-emergence that began in 1974; and the third phase, which Arnold traces to Beti’s brief return from exile in 1991.

Referring to the writer as a contemporary Voltaire, as his region’s most effective “gadfly” and commentator, Arnold begins the book with a discussion of Beti’s place in politics and literature.


Stephen H. Arnold is professor of comparative literature at the University of Alberta and director of the Africa/Caribbean section of the university’s Research Institute for Comparative Literature. He served for many years as editor of the African Literature Association Bulletin.