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Nenadović, Ana (2023) 'What about Love? 'Defiant Love' and Civic Dissent in Season of Crimson Blossoms and The Death of Vivek Oji.' Matatu, 54 (2). pp. 277-300.

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Abstract

This article examines the representation of love in two contemporary Nigerian novels, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms (2015) and Akwaeke Emezi’s The Death of Vivek Oji (2020). Inspired by bell hooks’s understanding of love and Dani d’Emilia and Daniel B. Chávez’s manifesto Radical Tenderness Is … I suggest the concept of defiant love as a tool for analysing love as a form of civic dissent in these novels. ‘Defiant love,’ as I understand it, embraces the complementary duality of love as emotion and action. Consequently, to allow the emotion of love to evolve in violent and patriarchal circumstances already constitutes dissent with the status quo. I argue that the two novels explore relationships and alliances that defy patriarchal structures, in particular gender norms and heteronormativity. Season of Crimson Blossoms and The Death of Vivek Oji depict the potentiality of defiant love, be it between a middle-aged widow and a young man, or queer young people, in socio-political contexts of continuous political and ethnic tensions, oppression and violence. The novels negotiate what constitutes dissent and what role affects play in moments of civic dissent.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: feminist and queer literature; radical love; Nigerian literature; affect and dissent
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies
ISSN: 09329714
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1163/18757421-05402004
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2023 09:01
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/41109

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