Elleke Boehmer's work on the crucial intersections between independence, nationalism and gender has already proved canonical in the field. This book combines her keynote essays on the mother figure and the postcolonial nation, with incisive new work on male autobiography, "daughter" writers, the colonial body, the trauma of the post-colony, and the nation in a transnational context.
This study depicts the traumatic condition of the formerly colonised indigenous people of Africa and Canada. The postcolonial trauma novels Tomson Highway's Kiss of the Fur Queen (1998) and Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions (1988) are first-hand accounts of colonial experience under the governance of the British Empire of the second half of the twentieth century. The semi-autobiographical novels bring up the voices of the formerly silenced natives and are pioneering accounts of the native perception of Western intrusion. The narratives portray the upsetting experiences of the era of colonisation and explore the insidious consequences of living in the midst of historical change. The novels, written in English, speak back to the canon and expose the suffering of its subjects. They depict the grim atmosphere of the colonial project and show the effects of the domination, oppression, diaspora and discrimination suffered by the natives. They are life narratives and as such reveal facts that are not recorded in history books. Both trauma novels enrich and challenge the discourse on (post)colonial trauma. The native authors, Tsitsi Dangarembga and Tomson Highway, explore the questions of identity, trauma and resistance in the context of colonization. Their approach queries traditional notions of identity formation and the common understanding of trauma and trauma healing. With their portrayal of unique means for resistance and survival, the novelists offer a challenge to the existing beliefs and theories.
Literary representations of the body from Africa as well as narrative strategies of writing the body have only recently begun to receive wider critical attention. The reflections on body, sexuality, and gender in African literary texts brought together in this volume do not consider these three terms as separate entities but instead as closely related to each other, each term questioning the other: bodies and sexualities that are transgressing concepts of gender, gender that is probing body and sexuality. With regard to Africa, the three concepts form a particularly contested space, because body and sexuality are not only subjected to power relations in terms of gender, but also in terms of race, ethnicity, and the legacy of colonialism.
Fairy-tale adaptations are ubiquitous in modern popular culture, but readers and scholars alike may take for granted the many voices and traditions folded into today's tales. In Fairy Tales Transformed?: Twenty-First-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder, accomplished fairy-tale scholar Cristina Bacchilega traces what she terms a "fairy-tale web" of multivocal influences in modern adaptations, asking how tales have been changed by and for the early twenty-first century. Dealing mainly with literary and cinematic adaptations for adults and young adults, Bacchilega investigates the linked and yet divergent social projects these fairy tales imagine, their participation and competition in multiple genre and media systems, and their relation to a politics of wonder that contests a naturalized hierarchy of Euro-American literary fairy tale over folktale and other wonder genres. Bacchilega begins by assessing changes in contemporary understandings and adaptations of the Euro-American fairy tale since the 1970s, and introduces the fairy-tale web as a network of reading and writing practices with a long history shaped by forces of gender politics, capitalism, and colonialism. In the chapters that follow, Bacchilega considers a range of texts, from high profile films like Disney's Enchanted, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, and Catherine Breillat's Bluebeard to literary adaptations like Nalo Hopkinson's Skin Folk, Emma Donoghue's Kissing the Witch, and Bill Willingham's popular comics series, Fables. She looks at the fairy-tale web from a number of approaches, including adaptation as "activist response" in Chapter 1, as remediation within convergence culture in Chapter 2, and a space of genre mixing in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 connects adaptation with issues of translation and stereotyping to discuss mainstream North American adaptations of The Arabian Nights as "media text" in post-9/11 globalized culture. Bacchilega's epilogue invites scholars to intensify their attention to multimedia fairy-tale traditions and the relationship of folk and fairy tales with other cultures' wonder genres. Scholars of fairy-tale studies will enjoy Bacchilega's significant new study of contemporary adaptations.
Denise Brahimi's literary critique of the works of Nadine Gordimer (Nadine Gordimer: La Femme, La Politique, Le Roman), published in 2000, is the most sought after of her books. Brahimi is a French intellectual known particularly for her scholarship on contemporary African women writers. For the first time, this translation gives an Anglophone readership insights into her perspective on Gordimer's works , which reflect the changing nature of South African society and document the struggle during the apartheid regime, the process of political transformation and post-democratic south African society.