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From lived spaces to literary spaces: the figure of the child soldier in contemporary African literature


Simoes da Silva, T, From lived spaces to literary spaces: the figure of the child soldier in contemporary African literature, African Geographical Review, 37, (2) pp. 109-119. ISSN 1937-6812 (2017) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2017 The African Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers

DOI: doi:10.1080/19376812.2017.1351881


This article examines how fictional representations of civil conflict and its consequences enable contemporary African writers to capture the raft of ways in which war remains a troubling agent within the national body. This is especially relevant in the context of postcolonial societies living the traumatic aftermath of decolonization and liberation wars. Focusing on the figure of the ‘child soldier’ as an emblem of the experience of displacement as engendered by Civil war in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half a Yellow Sun (2006) and Chris Abani’s Song for Night (2007), I argue that the figure of a child soldier qua displaced individual brings into relief a polemic and politically explosive commentary on the state of nationalism, statehood and citizenship in postcolonial, post-independence Africa.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Child soldiers, civil conflict, African literature, Adichie, Abani, refugees, violence and trauma
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Cultural studies
Research Field:Postcolonial studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Simoes da Silva, T (Professor Tony Simoes da Silva)
ID Code:120490
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-08-26
Last Modified:2019-03-14

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