The Empire Writes Back

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The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literature is a 1989 non-fiction book on postcolonialism, penned by Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin.[1] The Empire Writes Back was the first major theoretical account of a wide range of postcolonial texts and their relationship with bigger issues of postcolonial culture, and is said to be one of the most significant and important works published in the field of postcolonialism. The writers debate on the relationships within postcolonial works, study the mighty forces acting on words in the postcolonial text, and prove how these texts constitute a radical critique of Eurocentric notions of language and literature. First released in 1989, this book had a second edition published in 2002.[2]

The title references Salman Rushdie's 1982 article "The Empire Writes Back with a Vengeance". In addition to being a pun on the film Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the phrase refers to the ways postcolonial voices respond to the literary canon of the colonial centre.[3]


  1. ^ "The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures". Amazon. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  2. ^ Sarah Menin. "The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures". Goodreads. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  3. ^ Mwangi, Evan (2009). Africa Writes Back to Self: Metafiction, Gender, Sexuality. SUNY Press. pp. 235–236. ISBN 1438426976. Retrieved November 3, 2013.

Further reading[edit]

On postcolonialism[edit]

  • Extravagant Postcolonialism: Ethics and Individualism in Anglophonic, Anglocentric Postcolonial Fiction; Or, "what was (this) Postcolonialism?"." ELH 75.4 (2008): 899-937. ProQuest Research Library. Web.