This study analyses two non-western novels used in the subject of Swedish in upper secondary school: Fatou Diomes The Belly of the Atlantic and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichies Half a Yellow Sun. Looking at how the books female main character relate to Stuart Halls theory of cultural identity, I come to the conclusion that they somewhat differently relate to an essential ”authentic” self. Salie talks explicit about a generic African soul that she possesses. Olanna never talks about anything ”authentic”, but her narrative and contrary subject positions can be read as a way of demasking her European ”white” self in favour of a truer Igbo self. I also come to the conclusion that both novels use themes of alienation related to gender structures and positioned westernness and that this kind of reading could contribute to interesting classroom discussions about a dynamic interpretation on culture and identity.
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