Published by Heinemann in 1992, Contemporary African Short Stories is an anthology of stories edited by CL Innes and the late Chinua Achebe. The two are also editors of an earlier work entitled African Short Stories, published also by Heinemann in 1987. The later work features 20 stories written between 1980 and 1991 and which, once again, showcase the range and depth of African writing. They tell of adversity, strife and endurance in a mostly unsympathetic post-colonial environment, and examine the place of realism, superstition and fantasy in those struggles.
The Return of the Water Spirit talks of the erosion of the ethical and moral values that underscored the anti-colonial struggle in Angola. As such, it takes its place in the great swathe of African writing that takes as its motor the failure of the revolutionary state.