Afropean Aporias: Problematic cultural hybridity in Léonora Miano’s L’intérieur de la nuit and Fatou Diome’s Le Ventre de l’Atlantique

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Though still arguably marginal in the notoriously centralized French language literary landscape, texts produced by Afropean authors, meaning authors of Sub-Saharan origin born or currently residing in Europe, now constitute a corpus of their own with well know authors including Alain Mabanckou, Léonora Miano, Abdourahman Waberi and Fatou Diome gaining in readership and reach. Central to their works is the consideration of culturally hybrid identities whose multi-belongingness across and beyond continental Sub-Saharan and European spaces is depicted in an overwhelmingly positive light. This article diverges from past scholarship through its consideration of the difficult identarian compromise for the culturally hybrid protagonists in Miano’s L’intérieur de la nuit and Diome’s Le Ventre de l’Atlantique. Close reading of these texts, and namely of the experiences of their female Afropean protagonists, suggests a more nuanced, complex and less positive vision of contemporary Afropeanity than that lauded by theorists concerning a celebrated, emancipatory and overwhelmingly coveted condition of postmodernity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-59
Number of pages19
JournalResearch in African Literatures
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

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