Présence Francophone: Revue internationale de langue et de littérature


In Maïssa Bey’s novel, Cette fille-là, the character of Malika serves as a narrative plea for change. Since her childhood, Malika has strived to create an inward, personal imaginary for herself, as a defence mechanism against a hostile environment. In the workhouse, she adopts the role of storyteller for all those companions of hers, excluded as she is, from society. As the receptor of confidential information, she delights in verbally re-enacting their intimate stories, sprinkling them with accounts of her own experiences. By thus establishing Marika’s voice as a “link-route” to the novel’s subjacent vocal polyphony, the character is presented as a mouthpiece for those vilified women, condemned to social exclusion and invisibility.



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