Translation, Migration, & Gender in the Americas, the Transatlantic, & the Transpacific
5-8 Jul 2017 Bordeaux (France)
Danticat, Adichie, and the Precarity of Immigrant Existence
Gerise Herndon  1  
1 : Nebraska Wesleyan University

Edwidge Danticat is sometimes categorized as Haitian while Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is considered Nigerian, yet their writing published in the U.S. in English flourishes in a 21st century context of transnationalism and cosmopolitanism. Both in life and in fiction, authors crisscross national and linguistic boundaries that operate more as ethnoscapes than as meaningful divisions. Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying and Adichie's Americanah demonstrate the fluidity of cultural identity and the inadequacy of 20th century definitions of nation-states. Both Danticat's memoir and Adichie's novel of migration include a scene of a black man's attempt to traverse a national border with resulting detention, violence and, in the case of Danticat's uncle seeking asylum, death in state hands. Both texts challenge notions of citizenship and national security that foster fear and regulation of the immigrant.

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