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Battleground Bodies

Gender and Sexuality in Mozambican Literature


Eleanor K. Jones

This is the first book to provide a comparative exploration of the gendered and sexual body in Mozambican literature, engaging with the work of six authors spanning different generations, styles and aesthetics. The study begins by providing a detailed and innovative survey of the dynamics of gender, sexuality and power in the Portuguese colonial and Mozambican post-independence contexts, from the nineteenth century to the turn of the millennium. This initial investigation provides the sociohistorical backdrop for in-depth analyses of representations, uses and subversions of the body in poetry and prose fiction by José Craveirinha, Noémia de Sousa, Lília Momplé, Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa, Paulina Chiziane and Suleiman Cassamo. Using a wide and interdisciplinary range of theoretical frameworks, the book offers a fresh and creative new perspective on Mozambican history, political life and literary output.


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Acknowledgements vii Introduction An Iron House: Approaching Gender and Sexuality in Mozambique ix Chapter 1 Boundaries, Borderlands and Bodies: Gender and Sexuality in Mozambique’s Long Twentieth Century 1 Chapter 2 Unma(s)king Hegemony: Negotiating Masculinities in José Craveirinha and Paulina Chiziane 37 Chapter 3 Strategies of Disidentification: Rewriting Femininity in Noémia de Sousa and Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa 71 Chapter 4 States of Exception: Suicide, Hunger and Haunting in Lília Momplé and Suleiman Cassamo 127 Conclusion Firing Lines 175 Bibliography 187 Index 199

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