Post-colonialism is something of a misnomer, because the term seems to imply that colonialism is over. In reality, many countries that have been invaded or controlled by outsiders in the past, and escaped that, are still controlled economically. For example, Nigeria is ostensibly its own country, internationally recognized, but Shell Oil controls their government to such an extent that Nigerian activists including Ken Saro-Wiwa were executed in 1995 for fighting the extreme environmental destruction that Shell brought. In other cases, a country may be released from colonial rule, only to find that its resources have been sucked so dry, and its political system controlled for so long, that it can no longer fend for itself; this is the creation process of what are popularly called Third World countries.

Andy Greenwald writes that "What most postcolonial writers attempt through their work is to treat the term postcolonial as a verb, as if to push the former colonies into a new phase of their existence through writing." ( Post-colonial literature and politics tries to analyze the effect of colonial rule on a particular culture, both in the economic disaster that often follows colonialism and in the inevitable blending of cultures that emerges. Sometimes the pre-colonial culture that has been taken from them is glorified, and other times it is just remembered with an eye towards how it can be reincorporated into the future. Some post-colonialist theory comes from the standpoint of an imperialist culture that has (at least in theory) released its colonies, and examines where that culture will go from here and to what extent it still controls others.

Some post-colonialist writers include:

Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)
Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana)
Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe)
Buchi Emecheta (Nigeria)
Athol Fugard
Nadine Gordimer (South Africa)
Chenjari Hove (Zimbabwe)
Yvonne Vera (Zimbabwe)
Jean Marquand (South Africa)
Charles Mungoshi (Zimbabwe)
Ezekiel Mphahlele (South Africa)
Ngugi Wa Thiongo (Kenya)
Osonye Tess Onwueme
Christopher Okigbo (Nigeria)
Femi Osofisan (Nigeria)
Sembene Ousmane (Senegal)
Ken Saro-Wiwa (Nigeria; Ogoni)
Wole Soyinka (Nigeria)

United Kingdom
A. S. Byatt
Bruce Chatwin
Buchi Emecheta (UK, Nigeria)
Jane Gardam
Kazuo Ishiguro
Hanif Kureishi
Penelope Lively
Timothy Mo
Jan Morris
Graham Swift

Edward "Kamau" Brathwaite (Barbados)
Erna Brodber (Jamaica)
Wilson Harris (Guyana)
C. L. R. James
Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua)
George Lamming (Barbados)
Earl Lovelace (Trinidad)
V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad)
Caryl Phillips (St. Kitts)
Derek Walcott (St. Lucia)

New Zealand
Alan Duff
Keri Hulme

The Indian Subcontinent: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
Mulk Raj Anand (India)
Kamala Das (India)
Anita Desai (India and USA)
Chitra Fernando (Sri Lanka)
Kamala Markandaya (India)
Meera Mahadevan
Mukul Kesavan (India & Pakistan)
Rohinton Mistry (India & Canada)
Michael Ondaatje (Sri Lanka & Canada)
Arundhati Roy
Salman Rushdie (India, Pakistan, and UK)
Sara Suleri (Pakistan and USA)

This is by no means a complete list. Far more information on post-colonialist literature and politics can be found from "Contemporary Postcolonial and Postimperial Literature in English," at

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