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Title:Reversals of exile: Williams Sassine's 'Wirriyamu' and Tierno MonÚnembo's 'Pelourinho'
Author:Small, Audrey
Periodical:African Studies Review (ISSN 1555-2462)
Geographic term:Guinea
literary criticism
About persons:Williams Sassine (1944-1997)ISNI
Tierno MonÚnembo (1947-)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/asr.2014.91
Abstract:This article examines two novels by exiled Guinean writers in which physical space functions as a central point of reference for very different, though related, considerations of traumatized memory, identity, and exile. In Williams Sassine's 'Wirriyamu' (1976), a violent and violated rural landscape becomes emblematic of a specific traumatic event occurring within the time frame of the novel and of contemporary political reality. While in Tierno MonÚnembo's 'Pelourinho' (1995), a present-day cityscape provides consistently uncertain territory for thinking through a trauma that transcends history: that of the transatlantic slave trade. The article seeks to examine some of the ways in which contemporary trauma theory may be useful in reading Francophone West African fiction as well as some of the limitations of this theory in its applications to this corpus. Bibliogr., notes, ref., summary in English and French. [Journal abstract]