Violence and Trauma in African Literature focuses on representations of violence in African literature. The study starts with violence that emerged in the context of post-independence Africa plagued by the rule of tyranny after many African states failed to create viable institutions to spearhead national integration and sustainable socio-economic development. In this section, the author explores various aesthetic features—neo-baroque style, intertextuality, and narrative techniques—used by Sony Labou Tansi in La vie et Demie, Henri Lopes in The Laughing Cry, and Ahmadou Kourouma in Waiting for the Wild beasts to Vote to expose and deride despotic violence in the African postcolony. The study then turns to the ways in which protagonists resist two other forms of violence: racist violence in Alex Laguma’s works. A Walk in the Night, In the Fog of the season’s End, and Time of the Butcherbird and gendered violence in Nawal El Saadawi’s fiction Woman at Point Zero. Alex Laguma’s novels underscore the need for the emergence of collective consciousness to defeat the Apartheid system. In Nawal El Saadawi’s novel, multifarious patriarchal assaults against the main female protagonist pave her way to assumed agency in the face of death.
An eloquent and brilliantly conceptualized analysis of violence and trauma in African literature with breadth of panorama and intense gaze, Oumar Chérif Diop’s book illuminates the dynamics of violence in the contexts of gender disparities, military dictatorship, torture, and psychological trauma. A great contribution to postcolonial studies.
--Ernest Cole, Hope College
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
OUMAR CHERIF DIOP is Associate Professor of French and English at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. His publications include: Ousmane Sembene: Writer, Filmmaker, and Revolutionary Artist, 2015(co-edited with Ernest Cole); The Rhetoric of Violence in African Literature, 2009; Traumatics: The Representation of Trauma in Yvonne Vera’s “Without a Name”, 2012; Art’s Subtle, Liberating Ways: Violence, Trauma, and Agency in Fanta Regina Nacro’s “The Night of Truth (2004)”, 2015 (co-authored with Dominica Dipio); and Teaching about Africa: Violence and Conflict Management, 2013 (co-authored with Linda Johnston).
Literature, Literary Criticism/AFRICA