Abstract

Building on the work of Stewart Crehan, Joshua D. Esty, and others, this paper "queers" Armah's canonical novel of disillusionment with the African nation state, The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, by tracing sublimated and explicit expressions of homoerotic desire through the text. The protagonist's scatology is seen not just as a metaphor for the postcolonial predicament, but also as a psychological defense mechanism holding at bay a taboo form of sexual expression—a desire implicit in the protagonist's self-sacrificing and profound love for Koomson. Reread this way, The Beautyful Ones is understood as an allegory for the need for African nationalism to embrace same-sex desire and human rights for sexual minorities.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 62-73
Launched on MUSE
2009-07-08
Open Access
No
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