African and Caribbean peoples share a history dominated by the violent disruptions of slavery and colonialism. While much has been said about these geographies of pain, violence in the private sphere, particularly gendered violence, receives little attention. This book fills that void. It is a critical addition to the study of African and Caribbean womens literatures at a time when women from these regions are actively engaged in articulating the ways in which colonial and postcolonial violence impact women.
Chantal Kalisa examines the ways in which women writers lift taboos imposed on them by their society and culture and challenge readers with their unique perspectives on violence. Comparing women from different places and times, Kalisa treats types of violence such as colonial, familial, linguistic, and war-related, specifically linked to dictatorship and genocide. She examines Caribbean writers Michele Lacrosil, Simone Schwartz-Bart, Gisèle Pineau, and Edwidge Danticat, and Africans Ken Begul, Calixthe Beyala, Nadine Bar, and Monique Ilboudo. She also includes Sembène Ousmane and Frantz Fanon for their unique contributions to the questions of violence and gender. This study advances our understanding of the attempts of African and Caribbean women writers to resolve the tension between external forms of violence and internal forms resulting from skewed cultural, social, and political rules based on gender.
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