Marie NDiaye: Inhospitable Fictionsby Shirley Jordan
At stake throughout the fictional writings of Marie NDiaye (1967-) is the issue of the stranger's welcome. NDiaye's fascination with a spectrum of outsider figures and with the multiple, often subtle practices which create and sustain social groups as bounded entities, gives rise to detailed and disquieting portrayals not of hospitality but of the mechanisms and rituals of repulsion.
Engaging with critical theory on hospitality across the disciplines, Shirley Jordan's closely argued analysis of NDiaye's novels, theater and short stories probes the tropes of inhospitality around which the writer's work coalesces, exploring the ethical significance of a corpus in which communities, environments and spaces are persistently tainted by unwelcoming. NDiaye is seen to elaborate a fantastic anthropology: one which, through sustained attentiveness to non-observance of the rules of hospitality, provides a focus for debate about belonging in a postcolonial world.