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Title:'The festering finger': reimagining minority sexuality in Tendai Huchu's 'The hairdresser of Harare' and Abdellah Taïa's 'Une mélancholie arabe'
Author:Ncube, Gibson
Periodical:Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa (ISSN 2159-9130)
Geographic terms:Morocco
About persons:Tendai Huchu (1982-)ISNI
Abdellah Taïa (1973-)ISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1013929X.2013.795758
Abstract:Zimbabwean Tendai Huchu's 'The Hairdresser of Harare' (2011) and Moroccan Abdellah Taïa's 'Une mélancolie arabe' (2008) explore minority sexuality against overtly homophobic backdrops in contemporary African contexts. This article initially problematises minority sexuality in Africa before considering the stylistic and narratological techniques employed by both writers to depict the quest by their gay protagonists in assuming their homosexuality. By centring on gay characters, the novels contrast and subvert the actual social marginalisation faced by these characters. Using Maria Pia Lara's formulations (1998), the article reads the overt depiction of 'marginal' sexuality as possessing an 'illocutionary force' which exerts pressure on monolithic conceptions of sexual identity and potentially incites readers to perceive differently a subject that has hitherto remained taboo in many parts of Africa. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]