28(1) - 2016

La littérature francophone de l’Afrique subsaharienne en Suède. Les femmes font place à la honte

Ylva Lindberg


Francophone Sub-Saharan African literature in Sweden. Female writers make space for shame


The aim of the article is to present the place and the role of contemporary Francophone Sub-Saharan African literature in Sweden. This study attempts to compare three levels in the circulation of literary works: translation, reception, and content. These dimensions converge in the analysis in order to pin down the place and the role of this literature in the Swedish context. The study is delimited to writers born after the independencies. The results show that contemporary francophone novels translated and categorized as African are dominated by female writers. The critique reveals a semantic field stressing the theme of shame in the novels by these six female authors, which is examined through in-depth analysis of one novel from each author. Preliminary conclusions are that Francophone African literature is present on the Swedish market since the independencies and even before, though, contemporary works translated into Swedish are produced in the diaspora. A comparison between the three studied levels show that female writers contribute to the shaping of African literature in Sweden to a great extent, even though literary critics sometimes judge them severely. Their explorations of aesthetic forms marry a new discretely engaged literature, constructive rather than vindictive. In this literature, the core issue of facing the shame is presented as a way to reach individual and collective dignity.


translation, reception, close-reading, shame, Francophone Sub-Saharan African literature

DOI 10.17462/para.2016.01.04

April 20, 2016
  28(1) - 2016