Unending Quest for the Lost Self in New Nigerian Writings from the Diaspora


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships




Nigerian literature has been shaped lately by Nigerian writers in the Diaspora. My project seeks to analyse, through the application of Carl Jung's theory of the Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, the recurring search for 'the lost self' in the works of six authors, namely: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Helon Habila, Helen Oyeyemi, Segun Afolabi, Uwem Akpan and Chika Unigwe. The thesis seeks answers to the questions of identity - a classification of 'self' made complicated by troubles at home (Nigeria) and the struggle for acceptance and survival in the foreign lands where these writers sojourn. The study is in two phases: (i) Twinship and the Nexus of Collective Unconscious in Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun, Habila's Measuring Time and Oyeyemi's The Icarus Girl; and (ii) Reaching for the Lost Self: Archetypal Reading of Afolabi's A Life Elsewhere, Akpan's Say You're One of Them and Unigwe's On Black Sisters' Streets.?????