World Englishes Literature
Emma’s research asserts that World Englishes Literature can be defined through the following statement:
Most (but not all) World Englishes literature explores the culture(s) of the country and people from which it is written (these countries belong to Kachru’s Outer and Expanding circles); usually the literature employs the English of that place (to a lesser or greater degree); and, moreover, the writer chooses to write in that English over other languages in which he/she could alternatively write.
See her international comparative study – Beyond The Postcolonial: World Englishes Literature (2012; Palgrave)
The World Englishes Literature Fiction (WELF) series has published five anthologies of new writing in Englishes to date. Cameroon was published in July 2009 and Nigeria in April 2010. Uganda was publushed in December 2010 and made the Caine Prize shortlist in 2011. Kenya was published in January 2011 and Malaysia in June 2012.
The World Englishes Literature Fiction (WELF) series focuses on the production of new fiction writing in English, specifically new World Englishes Literature – a term which is defined in the introduction of each publication in the series. Country anthologies of new World Englishes fiction feature here, writing which is newly sourced, edited and presented with a critical introduction.
Making the journey to the country in question is paramount and this is what makes the CCC Press country anthologies different from other anthologies of new writing in English from around the globe. The journey to meet the writers is one that is made in order ‘to listen’ and not ‘to tell’. Since the World Englishes Literature imprint as a whole, explores being beyond the postcolonial, ‘listening’ to those who know, to those who are writing the literature now, are those to whom CCC Press aims to listen. This stance is in complete divergence with anthologies that are compiled by using already published (and recognised) literature as well as anthologies which are compiled from ‘the Western armchair’ – in a position of mindset as well as the very literal, physical ‘positioning’.
The World Englishes Literature Fiction (WELF) volumes are compilations of short stories which range from 3000 to 10,000 words in length. The idea behind presenting an anthology of short stories is to offer the reader an accessible and manageable ‘taste’ of a country’s contemporary fiction writing in English. The short story also allows a country’s writers to explore a variety of contemporary themes and concerns as well as exhibiting the linguistic diversity of the country in question.
It is important to state that most of the writers presented in the country anthologies will not be ‘known’ to the Western reader and also possibly to readers of their own country. This is a basic tenant of the WELF series; to promote new, emerging writers, often unknown to the West, writers who have not been ‘endorsed’ by Western publishing houses, but whose writing tells wonderful new stories in wonderful, new ways.