n Latin American Report - Voices from the wilderness : Zimbabwean Diaspora literature an emerging category




This article draws attention to the existence and emergence of a body of fictional works produced on Zimbabwe's Diaspora between the years from 2000 to 2014. It is the contention of the article that these literary works represent an emerging category within the general canon of Zimbabwean literature called Zimbabwean Diaspora literature. Through the application of existing conceptual and theoretical frameworks based on key characteristics of diasporic writings, the article concludes that Zimbabwean Diaspora literature is in its embryonic stage of development since it typically exhibits not only the common features attributed to diasporic writings, but it also possess the characteristic features often ascribed to a young diaspora. The article does not attempt to offer a rule of thumb definition of Zimbabwean Diaspora literature, for the simple reasons that Zimbabwean Diaspora literature is still very much in its infancy; it is a canon of literary works still growing steadily; still establishing its form, message, primary ideologies and identities. Thus, to offer a prescriptive or restrictive label to define the discourse is subjective and premature. It would be a travesty against the artistic enterprise as it only serves to stifle the creative imagination of the artist and to curtail the objective insights of the literary critic. In essence, therefore, the article seeks to draw attention to, rather than limit understanding of, this literary discourse called Zimbabwean Diaspora literature. However, there are features and characteristics exhibited by said literary discourse which have guided and informed the understanding of the article as to what constitutes Zimbabwean Diaspora literature.


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