Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Reading and teaching Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible as postcolonial

Feroza Jussawalla



Can an American writer really be considered a “postcolonial” writer? Can a “White American” writer be considered postcolonial when in fact most theoretical positions associate American Literature with imperialism? Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible demonstrates that despite the ethnicity and nationality of a writer, a work can be considered “postcolonial in intent.” Using the model of the postcolonial bildungsroman, we can see that though Kingsolver’s character Leah is of U.S. nationality, she grows into an “Africanness” that seeks a liberation of the Congo from all forms of oppression, colonial, religious and neocolonial. I would like to posit that looking at the bildungsroman of the main character Leah and her identification with the Congolese, Zairians and Angolans and her effort to see herself as growing up together with Africa and into Africa helps to see her growth as a trope for the suffering of this continent.


Kingsolver, Barbara; The Poisonwood Bible; Literatura norteamericana; Novela de aprendizaje; Literatura postcolonial


Copyright (c) 2003 Feroza Jussawalla

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