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Abstract

In this paper I have explored the ways in which Ugandan writer Goretti Kyomuhendo writes of the effects of extreme violence in the African Great Lakes Region on female subjectivities by thematizing the dynamics of oppression and submission in post-colonial Africa. I have paid particular attention to the ways that Kyomuhendo’s fiction focalizeds the narrators’/protagonists’ acts of telling by foregrounding the imperiled female within the dangerous masculine spaces of the socially dislocated and displaced societies. The two texts I have focused on narrate extreme violence from the perspectives of displaced female protagonists, highlighting the notion of displaced subjectivity by foregrounding the female body as abject and marked – a thing to be violently ‘written’ on and as a site of amputation and disablement. Kyomuhendo’s fiction here can be read as writing against another ‘disablement’ – in this case that of the female voice, silenced as a result of masculinist violence. I have argued moreover, that the writing here, the acts of narration, functions as a phantom limb enabling a ‘bearing of witness’ to the traumas of their protagonists.

Note on the Author

Andrew H. Armstrong, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados

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