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Intrecci diasporici: Homegoing di Yaa Gyasi

The title chosen for the Italian translation of Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing (2016), Non dimenticare chi sei (“Do not forget who you are”), suggests that the novel narrates the story of a successful quest for ancestral roots. The interpretation of the novel as a heritage tour back to Africa is further reinforced by paratextual elements, such as the cover image and blurbs. In this the Italian edition of Homegoing seems to follow in the steps of those US and British reviewers who have read the novel as a third millennium version of Alex Haley’s Roots: The Saga of an American Family. Gyasi, however, does not offer the story of a royal male ancestor and a recovered patriarchal lineage, nor a pastoral portrayal of Africa, but a parallel account of the ravages caused by patriarchy, the slave trade, colonialism and racism in the two branches of a family separated by rape and the slave trade. Choosing to focus on the ruptures, violence and separations of an African family following the rape of the ancestor Maame, she resists the sense of closure and healing associated with return narratives and challenges the reduction of Africa to a void and/or pre-modern times in Gilroy’s paradigm of the Black Atlantic.

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Anna Scacchi
titolo rivista di riferimento: 
Blackness, America nera e nuova diaspora africana
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