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Happiness, The Wound and the Word: Aminatta Forna Joins the Conversation on Trauma

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2019

Extract

Taking into account the interconnectedness of spaces, a number of theorists and writers have investigated the impact of trauma on subjectivities within their social, cultural, and political environments. In postcolonial studies, scholars such as Veena Das (2007)2, Antjie Krog and colleagues (2009)3, and Stef Craps (2012)4 have convincingly argued that postcolonial trauma survivors are not necessarily under the tyranny of the past; to the contrary, they may take advantage of the past event by immersing themselves in the trauma. Jay Rajiva gives the example of those survivors who cannot distance themselves from the past because they are compelled “to perform the grief of the community in both clothing and gesture. Such a submersion in past trauma becomes a way for a trauma survivor to expand and even renegotiate her relationship to that same community… . Essentially, the survivor inhabits the enforced retriggering of her trauma but finds the means—in daily life, over months and years—to make sense of her trauma.”5

Type
Book Forum on Aminatta Forna’s Happiness
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press, 2019 

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References

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22 Forna, Happiness, 157

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