chapter  6
18 Pages

Rethinking Reconciliation: Reections on Genocide in Africa


This chapter examines how ethnicity and sexuality intersect in Monique Truong's Book of Salt, affects the ideology of nationalism, and how it transforms the meaning of home. It shows how Truong's protagonist, like Francisco Jimenez in the chapter by Juan Velasco, metabolizes the global into the local as a strategy to reshape his identity. Truong defines the ideology of nationalism in two ways. First, the place of origin is just one way to define oneself. An individual's identity is also determined by the places where he or she has lived. Second, for a nationalist, 'one's own ethnic and national tradition is especially valuable and needs to be defended at almost any cost'. Through sexuality, Binh searches for someone with whom he can form a sort of transnation, not based on nationality or ethnicity but on same sexual orientation. It celebrates postnationalism as it extends beyond the confines of the state, even among people from different countries.