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Americanah: Depression, Diaspora & Double Consciousness

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Kara Pernicano

on 3 February 2015

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Transcript of Americanah: Depression, Diaspora & Double Consciousness

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s
Americanah

A Story of Depression, Diaspora and Double Consciousness
"People in Cambodia experience what we Americans call depression. But there's no direct translation for the word 'depression' in the Cambodian Khmer language."
"Why Cambodians Never Get 'Depressed' "
"my existence... on the verge of collapsing" (Kristeva,
Black Sun
3).

“condemnation and yearning” (Kristeva, “Powers of Horror”
The Portable Kristeva
236).

“The disappearance of that essential being continues to deprive me of what is most worthwhile in me” (Kristeva,
Black Sun
5).
Depression & the Abject
"there was a wider story of our displacements with each generation and the trauma, if you like, of losing a home, of upheaval, of beginning again"
Depression & Diaspora
"The themes of nationality, exile, and cultural affiliation accentuate the inescapable fragmentation and differentiation of the black subject."
Double Consciousness &
the Danger of a Single Story
~Maanvi Singh, NPR, Feb. 2, 2015
Robert Gwathmey (American, 1903–1988), Sun-Up, ca. 1948, oil on canvas, Williams College Museum of Art
By Katherine Streeter
~Roger Cohen, interview on NPR, Jan. 18, 2015, "A Memoir Of A Family's Diaspora, And A Mother's Depression"
"I would like to tell you a few personal stories about what I like to call 'the danger of the single story'.... how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story, particularly as children.... the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person."
~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, TED Talk, Oct. 2009, "The Danger of a Single Story"
"A warm, digressive and wholly achieved sense of how African lives are lived in Nigeria, in America and in the places between"
~
The Financial Times
, Praise for
Americanah
~Paul Gilroy,
The Black Atlantic as a Counterculture of Modernity
Full transcript