Oral Literature in Africa
Ruth Finnegan’s Oral Literature in Africa was first published in 1970, and since then has been widely praised as one of the most important books in its field. Based on years of fieldwork, the study traces the history of storytelling across the continent of Africa,
The 2013 edition makes Finnegan’s ground-breaking research available to the next generation of scholars. It includes a new introduction, additional images and an updated bibliography, as well as its original chapters on poetry, prose, 'drum language' and drama, and an overview of the social, linguistic and historical background of oral literature in Africa. Oral Literature in Africa has been accessed by hundreds of readers in over 60 different countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and numerous other African countries.
Oral Literature in Africa is part of the World Oral Literature Series in conjunction with the World Oral Literature Project.
This volume is complemented by original recordings of stories and songs from the Limba country (Sierra Leone), collected by Finnegan during her fieldwork in the late 1960s, which are are hosted by the World Oral Literature Project and are freely accessible on the Open Book Publishers website.
1st edition Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1970.
2nd edition (expanded and illustrated) Open Book, Cambridge, 2012