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

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

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