The literature of French speaking countries forms a distinct body of work quite separate from literature written in France itself, offering a passionate creative engagement with their postcolonial cultures. This book provides an introduction to the literatures that have emerged in the French speaking countries and regions of the world in recent decades, illustrating their astonishing breadth and diversity, and exploring their constant state of tension with the literature of France. The study opens with a wide ranging discussion of the idea of francophonie. Each chapter then provides readers with historical background to a particular region and identifies the key issues that have influenced the emergence of a literature in French, before going on to examine in detail a selection of the major writers. These case studies tackle many of the key authors of the francophone world, as well as new, up and coming authors writing today.