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Francophone Afropean Literatures$
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Nicki Hitchcott and Dominic Thomas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380345

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380345.001.0001

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date: 21 October 2017

The Transatlantic Poetics of Fatou Diome

The Transatlantic Poetics of Fatou Diome

Chapter:
(p.32) The Transatlantic Poetics of Fatou Diome
Source:
Francophone Afropean Literatures
Author(s):

Kathryn M. Lachman

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781380345.003.0003

This chapter considers the fiction of Senegalese author Fatou Diome in relation to the categories of Afropean literature and the Global South Atlantic. As critics have noted, Diome's novels address the asymmetries of mobility that define today's global economy, while also attempting to envision alternative networks. Like many other contemporary authors, Diome critiques French immigration policies, but she also points to Senegal's failure to provide equal access to education, to support the needs of rural women, and to curb the operations of corporate fishing companies in Senegalese waters. These forces all contribute to forcing young African men into illegal immigration, sustaining poverty and debt, and prolonging Senegal's dependency on France. At the same time, however, Diome's work articulates a transnational Atlantic poetics that transcends national boundaries by incorporating references to North-American and Brazilian modernism and reclaiming the ocean as a source of creative exchange. This chapter examines two of Diome's novels, Le ventre de l’Atlantique (2003) and Celles qui attendent (2011), to evaluate the writer's efforts to break free of the binary relationship between Senegal and France which defines Afropeanism more generally, in order to forge networks across the wider Global South Atlantic.

Keywords:   Fatou Diome, Afropeanism, Black Atlantic, Paul Gilroy, Senegalese literature

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