The novel Sweetness in the belly focuses on Lilly Abdal, a white Muslim woman raised in Africa and forced to flee to London from her adopted home, the Ethiopian walled city of Harar, as revolution and civil war escalate in Ethiopia in the 1970s. The novel weaves Lilly’s life in Harar, with her new life in Thatcher London and offers many insights into religion, race, and exile. Since it foregrounds the complexity of Lilly’s plural self and her multiple displacement across Africa and then in London, the novel enriches a thriving canon of transnational/migrant writing in English: This article discusses ways in which the narrative hinges around the construction of Lilly’s transnational/translational identity, by bringing into focus both the linguistic tapestry of the novel and Lilly’s hybrid in-between status as a refugee, enhanced by her professional role as an aid worker and a nurse in a derelict London neighbourhood, where she performs a liaising role for exiles and refugees. The article draws on recent theoretical works on “translational writing” (Gilmour 2012; Gimour and Steinitz 2017) and on “narratives of translation” in English literature (Doloughan 2015), encompassing those fictional works that “thematize, narrativize and/or are structured around, questions of language, cultural identity and what it means to translate oneself or one’s culture” (Doloughan 2015, 79). Another major theoretical framework is provided by critical examinations of refugee writings that have helped to bring into focus the narrative construction of contemporary experiences of refuge and exile (Farrier 2011; Wolley 2014).
Camilla Gibb's Sweetness in the Belly as a novel of translation / Buonanno, Giovanna. - In: INVERBIS. - ISSN 2279-8978. - VIII:1(2018), pp. 105-120.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Titolo:||Camilla Gibb's Sweetness in the Belly as a novel of translation|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.7368/91223|
|Citazione:||Camilla Gibb's Sweetness in the Belly as a novel of translation / Buonanno, Giovanna. - In: INVERBIS. - ISSN 2279-8978. - VIII:1(2018), pp. 105-120.|
|Tipologia||Articolo su rivista|
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