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Palgrave Macmillan

Mixed Race Stereotypes in South African and American Literature

Coloring Outside the (Black and White) Lines

ISBN 9781137364920
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

America's new millennial interest in multiraciality coincides with South Africa's postapartheid push towards greater visibility as the Rainbow Nation. Here, Diana Adesola Mafe argues that the recent celebration of the mulatto as an avatar of positive change for multiracial nations like South Africa and the United States overlooks the complex global trajectories that resulted in this watershed moment. Mixed Race Stereotypes in South African and American Literature examines the popular literary stereotype, the tragic mulatto, from a comparative perspective. Mafe considers the ways in which specific South African and American writers have used this controversial literary character to challenge the logic of racial categorization. The result is a transnational dialogue between these respective national literatures, both of which use tragic mulatto fiction as a locus for broader questions about race and belonging.

Diana Adesola Mafe is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Denison University, USA. She teaches courses in postcolonial, gender, and black studies and has published articles in Research in African Literatures, Camera Obscura, Safundi, Frontiers, English Academy Review, American Drama, and the anthology African Women Writing Resistance.

Introduction: Tainted Blood: The 'Tragic Mulatto' Tradition
1. God's Stepchildren: The 'Tragedy of Being a Halfbreed' in South African Literature
2. 'An Unlovely Woman': Bessie Head's Mulatta (re)Vision
3. 'A Little Yellow Bastard Boy': Arthur Nortje's Mulatto Manhood
4. Tragic to Magic?: Achmat Dangor's Bitter Fruit
Conclusion: Playing in the Light

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