This chapter explores the ways that literary scholars might take self-help texts seriously, through a focus on Lape Soetan�s self-help e-books alongside self-help literature from across the African continent. While the contemporary boom in self-help literature may invite a reading of the genre as �new�, it in fact has long literary roots in the African continent. Lape Soetan�s focus on gender, love and relationships aligns her with a time-honoured tradition in African self-help literature. While business and prosperity texts are ever-popular amongst African readers, books concerned with marriage, relationships and sex are also published and consumed widely across Africa. In offering solutions to the problems of everyday life, self-help texts often encourage their readers to make progress in life. This emphasis on personal progress leads Newell to suggest that many West African self-help texts adopt a similar approach to American self-help literature, which helps the reader to imagine �a future where a successful, self-created self exists in a happier state�.
|Title of host publication||Routledge Handbook of African Literature|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Mar 2019|