Battle Hymn of the Afropolitan: Sino-African Futures in Ghana Must Go and Americanah
Abstract

This article argues that a China-directed Orientalism infuses the political unconscious of recent fiction by “Afropolitan” writers. Focusing on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah and Taiye Selasi’s Ghana Must Go, this article demonstrates that crises of national economic development compel Afropolitan characters to self-Orientalize. Unable to rely on the stability of their home countries’ economies, and unwilling to endure the racism of the United States, these characters cathect alternative futurities offered by China’s non-ideological economic involvement in Africa and the flexible citizenship of Asian/American identity. Afropolitan novelists thus bring into relief the cultural and affective contours of an emergent Sino-African geopolitical formation that, to paraphrase Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, has turned its back on the West.


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