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Marzagora, Sara (2015) 'Re-writing history in the literature of the Ethiopian diaspora in Italy.' African Identities, 13 (3). pp. 211-225.

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Abstract

The paper offers an overview of the Italian-language literary production by diasporic writers of Ethiopian origin, focusing in particular on Gabriella Ghermandi’s 2007 novel Regina di fiori e di perle (‘Queen of flowers and pearls’). This output will be contextualized within the field of Italian postcolonial and ‘migrant’ literature, which emerged in the 1990s but has yet to receive a proper recognition in Italian academic circles. The exploration of themes such as conflicting identities and multiple belongings is grounded, for Italophone postcolonial writers, in Italy’s inability to critically process its colonial past, and has therefore a prominent historical dimension. The paper will analyse in particular how Regina di fiori e di perle rewrites the historiography of Italian colonialism in the Horn of Africa, and how it engages with earlier literary representations of this history. Central to Ghermandi’s literary project is the attempt to create a historical identity able to preserve difference, and contrast forceful assimilationist attempts, but at the same time also able to accommodate similarities, and fight against an essentialization of that difference.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: writers of Ethiopian origin, Ethiopian diaspora, Italian colonial historiography, Ethiopian history, Italian postcolonial literature, Gabriella Ghermandi, multiculturalism
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies
ISSN: 14725851
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1080/14725843.2015.1074538
Date Deposited: 26 May 2016 18:00
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/22116

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