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Interstitial voices: The poetics of difference in Afrodiasporic women's literature

Black Caribbean Literature (BCL)
Sullivan,Mecca J. (Author)
Publication Date:
Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania
African American Research Center, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject Term:
Caribbean area, Blacks, Literature, African Americans, Women, Africa, African diaspora, Poetics, Narrative, Queer studies
320 p., Examines the place of difference in black women's writing of the African diaspora. The works of well-known and canonical writers Toni Morrison, Buchi Emecheta, Jamaica Kincaid, and Audre Lorde illustrate key functions of the poetics of difference. The author reads these writers alongside important but underexplored figures, including Ghanaian-born poet Ama Ata Aidoo, Cuban-born novelist Achy Obejas, Trinidadian-born writer Dionne Brand, and South African/Botswanan writer Bessie Head, as well as younger writers such as U.S.-born playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, Nigerian-born fiction writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and St. Thomas-born writer Tiphanie Yanique. These writers reframe identity around radical models of difference by: (1) developing and naming hybrid genres; and (2) destabilizing formal conventions of recognizable genres through multiplicities of voice. By highlighting difference as a core component of black female identity, these writers make crucial interventions in several areas, including Afrodiasporic cultural, feminist, queer, and postcolonial theories of identity, as well as feminist, Afrodiasporic cultural, formalist, and narratological conceptions of voice.