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Title:The uses of 'orality' in an Italian post-colonial text: Gabriella Ghermandi's Queen of Flowers and Pearls (2007)
Author:Sansalvadore, Giovanna
Periodical:The English Academy Review (ISSN 1753-5360)
Geographic terms:Ethiopia
oral literature
About person:Gabriella Ghermandi (1965-)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10131752.2016.1249681
Abstract:This article evaluates the contribution made by Gabriella Ghermandi's novel Queen of Flowers and Pearls (2007. Rome: Donzelli) to the ongoing changes brought about in the Italian literary scene by writers who reflect upon the experiences of migration, the colonial period and its aftermath. Ghermandi's fusion of the African oral literary tradition, influenced by her Ethiopian roots, and the more formal western writing style reflecting her Italian heritage, are used as literary techniques in the novel, which combines a number of levels of identity and literary experience. Her main character, the child Mahlet, who becomes the narrator of the book, is both 'cantor' of her people and writer in the western tradition, combining the roles of artistic creator and witness for both cultures and historical realities. Ghermandi's novel is Mahlet's bildungsroman, but it also contains a wide panorama of historical references and personal reflections from other figures, and it becomes the embodiment of a postcolonial perspective, offering thoughts on integration and identity to the broader Italian debate. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]