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«There’s a Way to Alter the Pain»

Biblical Revision and African Tradition in the Fictional Cosmology of Gloria Naylor’s "Mama Day</I> and "Bailey’s Café</I>


Dorothea Buehler

Assuming the role of the African American griotte of her generation, Gloria Naylor seeks to recover and remember the eroded history of female archetypes in order to overcome the pain that a patriarchal, misogynist society has caused for Black women. Through revisiting and revising Biblical master narratives and Judeo-Christian imagery, Naylor sets out to tell the whole story of a truncated history. In great detail, this book throws light on Naylor’s literary revisionism against the backdrop of a radical Black Feminist Liberation Theology and a matrifocal Africana Womanism. In an analysis that fuses the impact of residual oral narration, geo-psychic spaces, and the rediscovery of a Jungian mother pattern, it becomes clear that characters and plot symbiotically enter into the all-encompassing realm of the feminine, creative life force. It is here that Naylor carves out a living space for a new generation of African American women.

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