Abstract

When considering the work of post-colonial scholars, it becomes apparent that missing from the list of the oppressed and marginalized are those who are doubly colonized with physical and mental disabilities. If, as Frantz Fanon has argued, Othering occurs on the basis of physical and verbal difference, then that colonized subject who is Other in terms of body and voice is made doubly Other by means of her disability. In this paper, I examine the social framing and ideological work of disabled characters in two texts, Anita Desai's Clear Light of Day and Fatima Gallaire-Bourega's You Have Come Back. Using these texts' main characters—Baba, who is autistic (Desai), and the Madwoman and the Cripple (Gallaire-Bourega)—I argue that the incorporation of a disability studies perspective in post-colonial and feminist critiques can enrich our understanding of the dialectic between colonizer and colonized and refigure our consideration of hybridity. Though Desai and Gallaire-Bourega resist simple "answers" to the question of how gender intersects with disability in post-colonial worlds, both offer provocative instances of the transgressive potential of "different" bodies.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2151-7371
Print ISSN
2151-7363
Pages
pp. 138-154
Launched on MUSE
2003-01-17
Open Access
No
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