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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Sex as synecdoche: intimate languages of violence in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'Half of a Yellow Sun' and Aminatta Forna's 'The Memory of Love'
Author:Norridge, ZoeISNI
Year:2012
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Volume:43
Issue:2
Pages:18-39
Language:English
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Sierra Leone
Subjects:sexuality
civil wars
novels
About persons:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (1977-)ISNI
Aminatta Forna (1964-)ISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v043/43.2.norridge.pdf
Abstract:In the 1990s, women's writing about war in Africa took a new turn as Yvonne Vera and Calixthe Beyala began to publish texts interweaving explicit sexual descriptions and graphic violence. With their examination of sexual relationships in the context of the civil wars in Nigeria and Sierra Leone, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'Half of a Yellow Sun' (2006) and Aminatta Forna's 'The Memory of Love' (2010) continue this trend. Why is it that female African writers are currently turning to sensuality as a means to explore conflict? This article argues that sex and violence are intricately interwoven and that the examination of sexual pleasure in these novels forms both a language and strategy with which to explore and contest violence against women. In doing so, it draws on theoretical insights about the sexual nature of outsider perspectives on conflict, the political choices involved in describing gender-based violence, and the crucial role of intimacy in representing war and wounding. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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