Silences too horrific to disturb: Writing sexual histories in Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Women's stories of sexual abuse are often subordinated to larger political narratives of the nation-state, and this is especially true of Haiti, where the nation's political upheavals, poverty, and refugees overwhelm the global imagination. This essay reads Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory as a fictional counternarrative that chronicles how empires, the postcolonial state, and the patriarchal family have abused, exposed, and compromised the sexed bodies of Caribbean women and girls. By inscribing these unofficial memories into the historical narrative of the Haitian nation-state, Danticat counters the systemic violence of erasure deployed by various cultural apparatuses that aim to conceal violence against women. In so doing, she makes explicit the political implications of these occurrences for women's experiences of citizenship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-90
Number of pages16
JournalResearch in African Literatures
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Sexual
Nation-state
Fiction
Political Upheaval
Erasure
Haiti
Poverty
Historical Narrative
Citizenship
Sexual Abuse
Postcolonial State
Violence against Women
Refugees
Chronicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

Silences too horrific to disturb : Writing sexual histories in Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory. / Francis, Donette.

In: Research in African Literatures, Vol. 35, No. 2, 01.12.2004, p. 75-90.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{70ce81de55504f899eebf96f424c0260,
title = "Silences too horrific to disturb: Writing sexual histories in Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory",
abstract = "Women's stories of sexual abuse are often subordinated to larger political narratives of the nation-state, and this is especially true of Haiti, where the nation's political upheavals, poverty, and refugees overwhelm the global imagination. This essay reads Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory as a fictional counternarrative that chronicles how empires, the postcolonial state, and the patriarchal family have abused, exposed, and compromised the sexed bodies of Caribbean women and girls. By inscribing these unofficial memories into the historical narrative of the Haitian nation-state, Danticat counters the systemic violence of erasure deployed by various cultural apparatuses that aim to conceal violence against women. In so doing, she makes explicit the political implications of these occurrences for women's experiences of citizenship.",
author = "Donette Francis",
year = "2004",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.2979/RAL.2004.35.2.75",
language = "English",
volume = "35",
pages = "75--90",
journal = "Research in African Literatures",
issn = "0034-5210",
publisher = "Indiana University Press",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Silences too horrific to disturb

T2 - Writing sexual histories in Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory

AU - Francis, Donette

PY - 2004/12/1

Y1 - 2004/12/1

N2 - Women's stories of sexual abuse are often subordinated to larger political narratives of the nation-state, and this is especially true of Haiti, where the nation's political upheavals, poverty, and refugees overwhelm the global imagination. This essay reads Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory as a fictional counternarrative that chronicles how empires, the postcolonial state, and the patriarchal family have abused, exposed, and compromised the sexed bodies of Caribbean women and girls. By inscribing these unofficial memories into the historical narrative of the Haitian nation-state, Danticat counters the systemic violence of erasure deployed by various cultural apparatuses that aim to conceal violence against women. In so doing, she makes explicit the political implications of these occurrences for women's experiences of citizenship.

AB - Women's stories of sexual abuse are often subordinated to larger political narratives of the nation-state, and this is especially true of Haiti, where the nation's political upheavals, poverty, and refugees overwhelm the global imagination. This essay reads Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory as a fictional counternarrative that chronicles how empires, the postcolonial state, and the patriarchal family have abused, exposed, and compromised the sexed bodies of Caribbean women and girls. By inscribing these unofficial memories into the historical narrative of the Haitian nation-state, Danticat counters the systemic violence of erasure deployed by various cultural apparatuses that aim to conceal violence against women. In so doing, she makes explicit the political implications of these occurrences for women's experiences of citizenship.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=60950611222&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=60950611222&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.2979/RAL.2004.35.2.75

DO - 10.2979/RAL.2004.35.2.75

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:60950611222

VL - 35

SP - 75

EP - 90

JO - Research in African Literatures

JF - Research in African Literatures

SN - 0034-5210

IS - 2

ER -