Transculturalism, Otherness, Exile, and Identity in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah

in Matatu
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Today African literature exhibits and incorporates the decentred realities of African writers themselves as they negotiate and engage with multifarious forms of diaspora experience, dislocation, otherness, displacement, identity, and exile. National cultures in the twenty-first century have undergone significant decentralization. New African writing is now generated in and outside Africa by writers who themselves are products of transcultural forms and must now interrogate existence in global cities, transnational cultures, and the challenges of immigrants in these cities. Very few novels explore the theme of otherness and identity with as much insight as Adichie’s Americanah. The novel brings together opposing cultural forms, at once transcending and celebrating the local, and exploring spaces for the self where identity and otherness can be viewed and clarified. This article endeavours to show how African emigrants seek to affirm, manipulate, and define identity, reclaiming a space for self where migrant culture is marginalized. Adichie’s exemplary focus on transcultural engagement in Americanah provides an accurate representation of present-day African literary production in its dialectical dance between national and international particularities.


Journal for African Culture and Society



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