The Subaltern Would Speak: Palimpsestic Identities in Nuruddin Farah’s ‘Blood in the Sun’ Trilogy


  • Dr. Naeema Abdelgawad



Palimpsest, Identity, History, Subaltern, Autonomy


Nuruddin Farah’s ‘Blood in the Sun’ trilogy is a socio-political voyage into the Somali life and consciousness. It is a serious attempt to explore the changes that befell the Somali society and converted into a poor, failure and famine struck state in the present though it was a powerful and rich state in the past. The trilogy is a documentation of the history of Somalia from a philosophical standpoint; it delves into clan and ethnic traditions and, at the same time, expounds the adverse consequences of colonisation that have been invoked by the first wave of the ‘Rush to Africa’ in the nineteenth century. The article is an endeavour to underline the complex status of subalternity of the Somalis whose palimpsestic historical and political situation forced a palimpsestic identity. Farah’s ‘Blood in the Sun’ trilogy enfolds three novels; i.e. Maps (1986), Gifts (1993), and Secrets (1998) which are reflective of the current failure social and political situation which negatively influences the identity of the natives. The article hopes to be the kernel of further studies handling the complex postcolonial identity of the Somalis from a historical-political perspective.


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Author Biography

Dr. Naeema Abdelgawad

Assistant Professor & Independent Researcher

Literature and Translation

Cairo, Egypt


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How to Cite

Abdelgawad, D. N. . (2021). The Subaltern Would Speak: Palimpsestic Identities in Nuruddin Farah’s ‘Blood in the Sun’ Trilogy. International Journal Online of Humanities, 7(4), 1–26.