Duncan M. Yoon on the Literary Interplay Between China and Africa
From The History of Literature Podcast with Jacke Wilson
For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with one another. Four thousand years ago they began writing down these stories, and a great flourishing of human achievement began. We know it today as literature, a term broad enough to encompass everything from ancient epic poetry to contemporary novels. How did literature develop? What forms has it taken? And what can we learn from engaging with these works today?
Hosted by Jacke Wilson, an amateur scholar with a lifelong passion for literature, The History of Literature takes a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.
Many readers today are familiar with the impact that Western countries have had on Africa, as told through the eyes of writers in both Africa and the West. But what about China and its growing influence in Africa? How have twentieth- and twenty-first-century African writers viewed the impact of Chinese businesses and culture on their homeland? In this episode, Jacke talks to NYU professor Duncan M. Yoon about his book China in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century African Literature, which unpacks the long-standing complexity of exchanges between Africans and Chinese as far back as the Cold War and beyond. PLUS Katherine Howe (A True Account: Hannah Masury’s Sojourn Amongst the Pyrates, Written by Herself) discusses her choice for the last book she will ever read.