Journal of Humanities

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Writing the possible and the future: Style in Malawian speculative fiction

Rodney Likaku, Joanna Woods


This article examines literary experimentation in the speculative genre of fiction in Malawian literature. It aims specifically at Malawian writers who seem to take the craft of writing seriously but appear unaware of the functions and ways of storytelling, especially in speculative fiction. Moreover, it does so while examining the style in the selected Malawian speculative fiction and illustrating in the following sequence: the history of Malawian literature, challenges of world building, characterisation, constructed language, plot/pacing, in Shadreck Chikoti’s Azotus: The Kingdom (2015), Ekari Mbvundula’s Montague’s Last(2015), Muthi Nhlema’s Ta O’reva (2015a), Charles Dakalira’s contribution in Will This Be A Problem (2016), and short stories by Muthi Nhlema, Tuntufye Simwimba, Hagai Magai, Aubrey Chinguwo, and Tiseke Chilema in Imagine Africa 500(2015). Therefore, this paper reads the new generation of Malawian writers who attempt to create a possible future in the speculative genre. Fundamentally, the selected writers exhibit a pedestrian attempt at literary experimentation and therefore fail to do what Alena Rettova argues is to write the possible and the future in speculation fiction.

Keywords: Malawi, future, speculation, genre, style

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