cover of book

Metaphor and the Slave Trade in West African Literature
by Laura T. Murphy and Laura T. Murphy
Ohio University Press, 2012
eISBN: 978-0-8214-4412-2 | Paper: 978-0-8214-1995-3
Library of Congress Classification PR9340.5.M87 2012
Dewey Decimal Classification 820.93580966


Metaphor and the Slave Trade provides compelling evidence of the hidden but unmistakable traces of the transatlantic slave trade that persist in West African discourse. Through an examination of metaphors that describe the trauma, loss, and suffering associated with the commerce in human lives, this book shows how the horrors of slavery are communicated from generation to generation.

Laura T. Murphy’s insightful new readings of canonical West African fiction, autobiography, drama, and poetry explore the relationship between memory and metaphor and emphasize how repressed or otherwise marginalized memories can be transmitted through images, tropes, rumors, and fears. By analyzing the unique codes through which West Africans have represented the slave trade, this work foregrounds African literary contributions to Black Atlantic discourse and draws attention to the archive that metaphor unlocks for scholars of all disciplines and fields of study.

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