The child soldier novel is not usually read in terms of sexuality; however, sexual trauma, sex between men and boys, and the production of damaged masculinities are central to representations of the boy soldier in contemporary writing about war from Nigeria, including Chris Abani’s Song for Night (2007), Uzodinma Iweala’s Beasts of No Nation (2005), and Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun (2006). The queer figures of the perverse adult military man and the violated and violating boy soldier emerge in complex relation to contemporary representations of the Nigerian gay man—and all of these texts negotiate the politics of sex and race across multiple reading publics. Jude Dibia’s gay character Adrian in Walking with Shadows (2005) asserts legibility and respectability in sharp contrast to the queer subjectivities of war writing, for example, yet all of these texts dramatize negotiations with stigma as it circulates across representations of sexuality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Literature and Literary Theory