Stories of Women: Gender and Narrative in the Postcolonial Nation

Overview

Why is the nation in a postcolonial world so often seen as a motherland? This pathbreaking study, 'Stories of women: Gender and narrative in the postcolonial nation', explores the perenially fascinating relationship between gender icons and foundational fictions of the nation in different postcolonial spaces.

The leading critic and theorist of postcolonial writing Elleke Boehmer's work on the crucial intersections between independence, nationalism and gender has already proved ...

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Overview

Why is the nation in a postcolonial world so often seen as a motherland? This pathbreaking study, 'Stories of women: Gender and narrative in the postcolonial nation', explores the perenially fascinating relationship between gender icons and foundational fictions of the nation in different postcolonial spaces.

The leading critic and theorist of postcolonial writing Elleke Boehmer's work on the crucial intersections between independence, nationalism and gender has already proved canonical in the field. Stories of women combines her keynote essays on the mother figure and the postcolonial nation, along with incisive new work on male autobiography, 'daughter' writers, the colonial body, the trauma of the postcolony, and the nation in a transnational context. Focusing on Africa as well as South Asia, and sexuality as well as gender, Boehmer offers fine close readings of writers ranging from Achebe, Okri and Mandela to Arundhati Roy and Yvonne Vera, shaping these into a critical engagement with theorists of the nation like Fredric Jameson and Partha Chatterjee. Moving beyond cynical deconstructions of the postcolony, the book mounts a bracing reassessment of the postcolonial nation as a site of potential empowerment, as a 'paradoxical refuge' in a globalised world.

'Stories of women' acts on its own impassioned argument that postcolonial and nation-state studies address substantively issues hitherto raised chiefly within international feminism. It is likely to prove a landmark study in the field.

The book will draw interest from readers and researchers of postcolonial, international and women's writing; of nation theory, colonial history and historiography; and of Indian, African, migrant and diasporic literatures.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780719068799
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Elleke Boehmer is Mildred Carlile Professor in English at Royal Holloway, University of London.

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Table of Contents

1 Motherlands, mothers and nationalist sons : theorising the en-gendered nation 22
2 'The master's dance to the master's voice' : revolutionary nationalism and women's representation in Ngugi wa Thiong'o 42
3 Of goddesses and stories : gender and a new politics in Achebe 54
4 The hero's story : the male leader's autobiography and the syntax of postcolonial nationalism 66
5 Stories of women and mothers : gender and nationalism in the early fiction of Flora Nwapa 88
6 Daughters of the house : the adolescent girl and the nation 106
7 Transfiguring : colonial body into postcolonial narrative 127
8 The nation as metaphor : Ben Okri, Chenjerai Hove, Dambudzo Marechera 140
9 East is east : where postcolonialism is neo-orientalist - the cases of Sarojini Naidu and Arundhati Roy 158
10 Tropes of yearning and dissent : the inflection of desire in Yvonne Vera and Tsitsi Dangarembga 172
11 Beside the west : postcolonial women writers in a transnational frame 187
12 Conclusion : defining the nation differently 207
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