n English in Africa - The queer celebratory in Ashraf Jamal's

Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



Ashraf Jamal's (1996) is a prime exemplar of celebratory queer novels in post-apartheid South Africa. This picaresque novel is also a state-of-the-nation novel, although it avoids laboured commentary on issues of race and gender, focusing instead on art and sexuality as gauges of the body politic. The novel is threaded through with references to a historic art and queer party, the Locker Room Project, which subverts national idolatry of the male-dominated arena of sport, alters a complacent Cape Town, and ripples out into South Africa and the entire Southern Africa region, countering the public homophobia of public figures such as Robert Mugabe. Using theoretical lenses of Queer Nation, camp and the carnivalesque, I offer a critique of the representation of sexuality and power in .

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