Title

Peace in the Home is Peace in the Nation: Redemption after the Liberian Civil Wars

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

Publication Title

Journal of the African Literature Association

Abstract

Elma Shaw’s 2008 novel, Redemption Road: The Quest for Peace and Justice in Liberia, provides an important model for thinking through creative possibilities for individual and collective justice in Liberia after the civil wars from 1989 to 2003. This essay engages African women thinkers including Lauretta Ngcobo and Desiree Lewis to expand the frames of Judith Butler’s work on precarity and Jacques Derrida’s model of inheritance. Shaw’s complex female protagonist, Bendu Lewis is a victim and perpetrator of crimes during the war who works to find justice for her community by founding an NGO and reclaiming her lost daughter. I argue that this kind of practice comprises the foundation for an individual and collective “bodily redemption” that turns from a reliance on systemic justice to the female body as a site of individual and collective pain, agency, and healing.

Department

English

First Page

1

Last Page

17

DOI

10.1080/21674736.2020.1839305

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