Title

First Light

Date of Award

5-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Creative Writing

First Advisor

Richard Bausch

Second Advisor

James Blaylock

Third Advisor

Dr. Anna Leahy

Abstract

What I have attempted in this thesis is first to let go of the gaze that accompanies the myth and expectations of African literature and secondly and most importantly, to claim and make of the craft a space of freedom, devoid of any burdens or preassigned symbolic representation— a space where writing, rather than conditioned and shaped by several factors, comes alive from an intensely intimate devotion to unrestrained, uncompromised, outpouring vibrant living and witnessing.

For the possible relevancy and potential contribution of this work to cultural and contemporary art, I look to notable African writers like Chigozie Obioma, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Chimamanda Adichie, among others, whose stories continue to shape the context of African literature and affirm its relevance. My work is inflected by the style and intention of these writers—the nationalistic rhetoric; the kind of prose that is faithful to the sense of belonging, even if a haunted and painful one; essential stories of unchartered depths; and ultimately the insistence on telling stories that humanize, preserve and resist the legacy of myths.

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