What is POCO Lit?

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What is POCO Lit?
Well, if you’re here, chances are you already know the answer to this one, unless you’ve accidentally stumbled across this blog- in which case, welcome!
In a nutshell, Post-Colonial Literature is a broad and complex genre encompassing work from a spectrum of continents and cultures, simultaneously meaning different things to different people based on their own cultural, individual or geo-political experiences of empire. Essentially the genre is a response to colonialism and the legacy of colonial rule in a certain culture or country, but is however, not always the antithesis of this. In other words, a person’s outlook on the various positive or negative manifestations of colonialism may vary due to his own personal or cultural experiences of it. So whether it’s South East Asian feminist literature, the works of a Kenyan activist or late 19th century Nigerian poetry, it falls under the umbrella of Post-Colonial literature and if I can help it, gets read by me!

Why POCO Lit?
It is the diversity and transcultural nature of this genre that interests me the most. Whilst a wealth of academic resources and essays on Post- Colonial literature are available online and elsewhere, I’m not too interested in getting bogged down with the intellectual jargon! For me, the pleasure of reading Post-Colonial literature is in the feelings and reactions it evokes in me, the common reader. It is imbued in the pages of the previously unheard, the sharing of immigrant experience and the reclaiming and piecing together of the ravages of empire that intertwines POCO book readers the world over and that’s why I love it.

7 comments

  1. I’m always surprised why I don’t read more poco lit. I love the genre, but I am so easily distracted by British comfort reads. What’s worse is that I actually know a lot of poco lit authors since I took a class on the subject.

    Give me recommendations! Who are your favorite poco lit authors?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I used to be the same, I grew up reading classics, which I loved but felt so far removed from. Ooh there are so many, i really love Small Island by Andrea Levy, Arudhati Roy is another favourite of mine, Half of a Yellow Sun by Adichie is also brilliant. The genre, like so many, is male dominated but there are so many wonderful female authors so I make a concerted effort to read them!

      Like

      • Oh, I own Americanah by Adichie, The God of Small Things by Roy, and Fruit of the Lemon by Andrea Levy. All of them unread. Hahaha, well, the first step of owning poco lit is over and done with. Now there’s the matter of actually reading them.

        Liked by 1 person

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