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The Troubling Popularity of West African Romance Novels

Lydie Moudileno
Research in African Literatures
Vol. 39, No. 4, Positively Popular: African Culture in the Mainstream (Winter, 2008), pp. 120-132
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30135307
Page Count: 13
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The Troubling Popularity of West African Romance Novels
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Abstract

This essay acknowledges the success, in West Africa, of a collection of romance novels written in French. Launched in the 1990s by the Nouvelles Editions Africaines as the Adoras collection, the series has grown to become one of the most spectacular success stories in African (francophone) editorial history. This essay argues that the popularity of the Adoras novels not only as a popular genre but also as fiction in French can be perceived as troubling in a context where France is still perceived as the sole foyer of francophone creativity, where "higher" written genres are still struggling with legitimacy issues, and where critics typically declare the absence of a francophone African readership.

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