Gaps of Silence: Trauma, Memory and Amnesia in Bugul’s Le baobab fou

Meyre Santana Silva, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela


Bugul’s autobiographical narrative is constructed through the interstices of memory and forgetting, a liminal space in the author’s imagination. Through imagination, she recreates and rewrites the colonial encounter reinserting women’s bodies and sexuality in her historical narrative. In Le baobab fou the narrator rewrites the colonial encounter on her own body, a sexualized and racialized body that becomes not only an object of consumption, but also avid to consume European countries, to obtain Europe. Her experiences transform her over time, leading her to madness and spiritual death. However, rebirth and regeneration occur when Ken recovers her subjectivity and when she has the courage to voice her story.


memory; trauma; Africa; women literature

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