Re-imagining environmental waste : an ecocritical reading of contemporary African women writers
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The field of ecocriticism has been growing rapidly since its beginnings in the early 1990s. Since then, critics like Elizabeth Deloughrey and Byron Caminero-Santangelo have indicated the importance of considering African works and their postcolonial contexts in these inquiries, as well as the remaining need to engage with francophone parts of the continent. With a growing interest in the field of postcolonial ecocriticism galvanized by the increasing environmental disasters across the African continent and the globe, contemporary women writers Ananda Devi, Tanella Boni and Fatou Diome offer invaluable perspectives on the various forms of environmental waste as they consider some of the myriad connections between material, human and cultural elements of pollution and degradation. Through the study of three novels, Devi’s Eve de ses décombres (2006), Boni’s Les baigneurs du lac Rose (1995), and Fatou Diome’s Le ventre de l’Atlantique (2003), this project articulates the ways in which these African writers go beyond portrayals of exploitation and waste by re-imagining polluted landscapes and gesture instead to the continent’s potential for material and cultural renewal.