Queering Settler Romance: The Reparative Eugenic Landscape in Nora Strange's Kenyan Novels
2023. "Queering Settler Romance: The Reparative Eugenic Landscape in Nora Strange's Kenyan Novels", Primitive Normativity: Race, Sexuality, and Temporality in Colonial Kenya, Elizabeth W. Williams
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Chapter 5 moves the geographic to consider how ideas about Kenya as a prelapsarian space traveled to the metropole and beyond. It focuses on the romance novels of Nora Strange, arguing that they presented readers with an image of Kenya as a “eugenic landscape,” a space that separated fit settlers from those who were not suited to carry on the colonial mission. The vibrant, “primitive” landscape of Kenya reinvigorated “overcivilized” settlers who had lost touch with their primitive sexual drives. Those settlers who were eugenically unfit, however, were eliminated through their interactions with the flora and fauna of Kenya. Strange thus funneled concerns about the “degeneration” of Europeans through narratives of the colony as a reparative space.