Added: February 7, 2015 – Last updated: September 2, 2017


Author: Régine Michelle Jean-Charles

Title: Toward a Victim-Survivor Narrative

Subtitle: Rape and Form in Yvonne Vera's Under the Tongue and Calixte Beyala's Tu t'appelleras Tanga

Journal: Research in African Literatures

Volume: 45

Issue: 1

Year: Spring 2014

Pages: 39-62

ISSN: 0034-5210 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1527-2044 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | African History: Cameroonian History, Zimbabwean History | Offenders: Fathers; Representations: Literary Texts / Calixthe Beyala, Yvonne Vera; Types: Child Sexual Abuse, Incestual Rape; Victims: Daughters, Girls, Trauma



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Author: Régine Michelle Jean-Charles, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Boston College

Abstract: »This essay examines the representation of rape in Yvonne Vera’s Under the Tongue and Calixthe Beyala’s Tu t’appelleras Tanga, arguing for the term “victim-survivor” as a conceptual frame for analyzing the experience of violated protagonists. By positing the “victim-survivor narrative” as a form that grapples with the multiple responses to and experiences with rape, as well as the different ways they figure on cultural production, this essay moves beyond the extant analyses in rape cultural criticism and trauma studies. My discussion critiques the ways in which models from trauma studies and rape crisis intervention fall short in accounting for the complexity of African experiences with sexual violence. To do so, I challenge the dominance of the rape survivor model, offer victim-survivor in its stead, and subsequently demonstrate its efficacy as a way to analyze rape that accounts for the female protagonists’ multiple locations and subjectivities in Beyala’s and Vera’s novels.« (Source: Research in African Literatures)


  "My Voice Has Forgotten Me...": Yvonne Vera's Under the Tongue (p. 46)
  Calixthe Beyala's Tu t'appellaras Tanga: A Story to Pass On (p. 51)
  Conclusion: A Rape Victim-Survivor Narrative for All (p. 58)
  Acknowledgements (p. 59)
  Notes (p. 60)
  Works Cited (p. 60)

Wikipedia: History of Africa: History of Cameroon, History of Zimbabwe | Literature: African literature | Cameroonian novelists: Calixthe Beyala | Zimbabwean writers: Yvonne Vera | Sex and the law: Child sexual abuse, Incest | Trauma: Psychological trauma