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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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Sex and the Afropean City

Sex and the Afropean City

Léonora Miano’s Blues pour Élise

(p.124) Sex and the Afropean City
Francophone Afropean Literatures

Nicki Hitchcott

Liverpool University Press

Set in 2008, Miano's Blues pour Elise describes the everyday lives of a group of black women friends living in Paris. Each of the eight chapters of the novel focuses on a different character so that each can be read as an individual self-contained story and yet all the stories are interconnected through the events and the relationships they describe. Ultimately, it is the relationships between the different characters that are the main subject of the novel, which reads as a kind of black French literary sitcom. The four friends at the centre of the novel are financially independent black women in control of their own lives. Through their intimate stories, Miano redraws Paris as an Afropean city in which people from the Diaspora live not as “immigrants” but as consumers, eating at Afro-Caribbean restaurants, wearing clothes by African designers and shopping at Caribbean “concept” stores. In this novel, Miano offers a refreshing new take on black culture in France; Paris emerges as a creolized city and a site of possibility and opportunity for Afropean women.

Keywords:   Léonora Miano, Blues pour Élise, Afropean, women, Paris

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