The Power of the Story in Postcolonial Fiction: The Novels of Brian Castro and Mia Couto

DR Brookshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

The power of storytelling, and its association with the voice of marginalized peoples, notions of plurality and hybridity, is often seen as a characteristic theme and preoccupation of the postcolonial narrative. This article focuses on the treatment given to storytelling by two novelists who have made significant contributions to literature in their respective countries. Mia Couto, who writes in Portuguese, is Mozambique's most widely known contemporary writer. Brian Castro, of distant Portuguese descent, but who writes in English, is one of Australia's most innovative novelists of the present day. Both are, to some extent, ancestral products of Portuguese colonial expansion, Couto being a Mozambican of European origin, Castro an Australian of complex Portuguese Eurasian ancestry. Both are supremely conscious of the weight of history upon them, and use storytelling as a metaphor for giving some sort of empowerment to those who are not part of the political and cultural mainstream. The difference between them is that Couto does this in order to reflect the different voices of a newly emergent nation, Castro does so in order to question the traditionally homogeneous cultural values of the country of his adoption. While the article refers to diverse works by these two writers, particular attention is paid to Couto's Under the Frangipani and Castro's After China.
Translated title of the contributionThe Power of the Story in Postcolonial Fiction: The Novels of Brian Castro and Mia Couto
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143 - 149
Number of pages7
JournalRevista de Cultura
Volume13
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government

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