Poetics of Exile: Ancestral Memories and Literary Tradition in Carolina Maria de Jesus and Conceição Evaristo





Carolina Maria de Jesus, Conceição Evaristo, ancestral memories, literary tradition, poetics of exile.


The aim of this paper is to discuss, based on the analysis of Carolina Maria de Jesus’ novel Diário de Bitita (1986) and of Conceição Evaristo’s Becos da Memória (2006), the relationship between ancestral memories and the emergence of a literary tradition of Afro-Brazilian female authorship, characterized as a poetics of exile. From this perspective, I argue that Carolina Maria de Jesus represents, in the 20th century, a literary tradition inaugurated in the 19th century, by Maria Firmina dos Reis, and which has been consolidating itself in the 21st century with writers such as Conceição Evaristo who, like their predecessors, are exponents of a literary tradition whose main characteristic is ancestral memories.