Canonizing the mundane: narrating and transgressing the Nigerian queer self/selves in Unoma Azuah’s Embracing My Shadow and Chike Frankie Edozien’s Lives of Great Men

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

Discussions of LGBTQIA+ rights are still taboo in parts of Africa where traditional and religious values remain significant. As public discussions of queer life can bring about marginalization and threaten personal safety, some Nigerian authors have opted to present literary queer selves. Few studies of queer African autobiographical writing have been conducted. This article examines Unoma Azuah’s Embracing My Shadow: Growing up Lesbian in Nigeria (2020) and Chike Frankie Edozien’s Lives of Great Men: Living and Loving as an African Gay Man (2017) to investigate how the queer self is represented through the mundane. The works are amongst the first to narrate gay and lesbian lives in Nigeria. By canonizing the mundane, Azuah and Edozien describe the dimensions of their lives and their negotiations of sexual, racial, and national identity. The article examines their queer experiences, their reconciliation with parents and family, and how they confront tradition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-326
Number of pages29
JournalProse Studies
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

User-Defined Keywords

  • Queer studies
  • Nigeria
  • nonfiction
  • memoir
  • homosexuality

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