Daring to tilt worlds: the fiction of Irenosen Okojie.

Book chapter


Scafe, S. (2020). Daring to tilt worlds: the fiction of Irenosen Okojie. in: Women Writers and Experimental Narrative Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 1-12
AuthorsScafe, S.
Abstract

In much recent criticism and commentary, black British literature and culture has either been used to reflect or interrogate the state of the nation, or as an educational tool, to shine a light on hidden histories and the shadowy margins of the present. As a result, the work’s formal structures and particularly writers’ experiments with linguistic forms and textual or performative structures is often bypassed in favour of a realist or literalist approach to content. Focusing on Okojie’s novel, Butterfly Fish (2015) and her collection of short stories Speak Gigantular (2016), I argue that this work creates what Marie-Laure Ryan has defined as ‘impossible worlds’ that is, fiction that demands ‘new strategies for making sense of the text’ (p. 369) and that tests habitual assumptions about black women’s fiction and the worlds their texts create. Her work produces instabilities; it settles on strangeness, reflecting what Tobias During (2017) describes as a startling ingenuity that presents the possibilities of different worlds and different geographies. Okojie’s work experiments with new forms of contemporary prose and challenges readers to see worlds and words differently.

KeywordsIrenosen Okojie, experimental, Benin, Butterfly Fish, ways of looking, different realities
Page range1-12
Year2020
Book titleWomen Writers and Experimental Narrative
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan UK
File
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open
Publication dates
Print01 Sep 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted01 Nov 2019
Deposited06 Mar 2020
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/89435

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