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Runaway GenresThe Global Afterlives of Slavery$
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Yogita Goyal

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479829590

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479829590.001.0001

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We Need New Diasporas

We Need New Diasporas

(p.171) 5 We Need New Diasporas
Runaway Genres

Yogita Goyal

NYU Press

This chapter examines recent celebrated fictions from the new African diaspora that remake American conceptions of race by placing them in relation to the history of the postcolonial state and its own itineraries of hope and despair, migration and return. Writers like Chris Abani, NoViolet Bulawayo, Chimamanda Adichie, Teju Cole, and Dinaw Mengestu appropriate various genres—the great American novel, the reverse imperial romance, the black Atlantic travel narrative, the ethnic bildungsroman—to delineate new conceptions of diaspora, beyond the assimilation mandated by the conventional immigrant plot or the melancholy sounded by critics nostalgic for simpler moments of opposition between Africa and the West. Often termed Afropolitan, these writers resist received notions of what constitutes African literature, even as they open up numerous critical possibilities for the study of diaspora, expanding previous geographies and weaving together race and class with location.

Keywords:   diaspora, Afropolitan, immigrant, African, Teju Cole, Chimamanda Adichie, Dinaw Mengestu, Chris Abani, NoViolet Bulawayo

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