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Witches, Goddesses, and Angry Spirits

The Politics of Spiritual Liberation in African Diaspora Women's Fiction

Maha Marouan

Publication Year: 2013

Witches, Goddesses and Angry Spirits: The Politics of Spiritual Liberation in African Diaspora Women’s Fiction explores African diaspora religious practices as vehicles for Africana women’s spiritual transformation, using representative fictions by three contemporary writers of the African Americas who compose fresh models of female spirituality: Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994) by Haitian American novelist Edwidge Danticat; Paradise (1998) by African American Nobel laureate Toni Morrison; and I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem (1992) by Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé.

Published by: The Ohio State University Press

Cover

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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vi

Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

While the rough seed of this book started during my Ph.D. years at the University of Nottingham, this project did not take shape until few years later at the University of Alabama. I have been lucky to have had people along the way who supported and inspired me, but most of all, offered me the most precious gift a researcher could ask for, patience. ...

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Chapter 1. Introduction: A Theoretical and Thematic Framework

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pp. 1-36

This study inquires into the construction of African diaspora female spirituality as it features in representative fictions by three contemporary writers of the African Americas: Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994) by the Haitian American novelist Edwidge Danticat, Paradise (1998) by the African American Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, ...

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Chapter 2. In the Spirit of Erzulie: Vodou and the Reimagining of Haitian Womanhood in Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory

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pp. 37-70

This story sets the tone for this chapter, which examines the representation of womanhood in Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994).1 The novel is about the coming of age of a young Haitian immigrant, Sophie Caco, who leaves Haiti to join her mother in the United States. ...

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Chapter 3. “Thunder, Perfect Mind”: Candomblé, Gnosticism, and the Utopian Impulse in Toni Morrison’s Paradise

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pp. 71-102

Morrison’s Paradise (1999) is the last part of a trilogy that Morrison started with Beloved, followed by Jazz. The three novels focus on the issue of excessive love that leads to violence. Morrison claims that while in Beloved she examines maternal love, and in Jazz she writes about erotic love, ...

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Chapter 4. Conjuring History: The Meaning of Witchcraft in Maryse Condé’s I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

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pp. 103-152

Maryse Condé’s I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem (1992) is a fictional account of the slave Tituba who was accused and tried for witchcraft during the famous Salem witch trial of 1692. The novel is set in the seventeenth century, and explores Tituba’s life journey: ...

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Chapter 5. Conclusion: The Return of Witches, Goddesses, and Angry Spirits

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pp. 153-158

Danticat, Morrison, and Condé celebrate their female characters’ legacy by granting them an afterlife. Their protagonists are in various ways crucified only to be resurrected as defiant spirits who return to provide inspiration to traumatized women. They continue to be useful to their people, carrying their traditions beyond the limits of time and history. ...

Bibliography

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pp. 159-166

Index

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pp. 167-180


E-ISBN-13: 9780814270158
E-ISBN-10: 0814270158
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814212196
Print-ISBN-10: 0814212190

Page Count: 208
Illustrations: 5 halftones
Publication Year: 2013