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Embodied genealogies and gendered violence in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s writing


Simoes da Silva, AJ, Embodied genealogies and gendered violence in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's writing, African Identities, 10, (4) pp. 455-470. ISSN 1472-5851 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/14725843.2012.731881


This essay examines two recent novels by the Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,Purple Hibiscus ([2003] 2005) and Half a YellowSun (2006), placing them first in a dialogue with each other, and more broadly with selected Nigerian writing on the Biafra conflict. Arguing with Adesanmi that Adichie belongs to a ‘third generation’ of African literary work, it traces the novels’ work of historical revisionism through gendered and embodied discourses of pain and violence. Adichie returns the reader to an aesthetics of excess firmly grounded on potently disturbing images of the ‘body in pain’, in Elaine Scarry’s memorable phrase (1983): the battered, bruised and scarred body emerges as a key image, a corporeal evocation of the individual self that is traced in both novels to a legacy of colonial and post-colonial relations, and specific gendered configurations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Purple Hibiscus; Half a Yellow Sun; gender; violence; bodies
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Cultural Studies
Research Field:Postcolonial Studies
Objective Division:Cultural Understanding
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Languages and Literature
Author:Simoes da Silva, AJ (Professor Tony Simoes da Silva)
ID Code:100429
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Humanities
Deposited On:2015-05-15
Last Modified:2017-12-18

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