Voices From an Empire was first published in 1975. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The literature of the various regions of Lusophone Africa has received relatively little critical attention compared with that which has been focused on the work of writers in the English- and French- speaking countries of Africa. With the profound changes which are occurring in the social and political structures of Lusophone Africa, there is particular need for the comprehensive look at Afro-Protuguese literature which this account provides.
Professor Hamilton traces the development of this literature in the broad perspective of it social, cultural, and aesthetic context. He discusses the whole of the Afro-Portuguese literary phenomenon, as it occurs on the Cape Verde archipelago, in Guinea-Bissau, on the Guinea Gulf islands of Sao Tome and Principe, in Angola, and in Mozambique.
In an introduction he discusses some basic questions about Afro-Protuguese literature, among them, the matter of a definition of this body of writing, the implications of the concept of negritude, the role of Portugal and Brazil in Afro-Portuguese literature, and the social and cultural significance of the dominant literary themes found in the various regions of Lusophone Africa. Because he sees the regionalist movement in Angola as the most significant in terms of a neo-African orientation, he begins the book with an extensive study of the literature of that country. Many examples of afro-Portuguese poetry are given, both in the original language and in the English translation. There is a bibliography, and a map shows the African regions of study.