Defining collective and individual memory in Lainy Malkani's Sugar, Sugar and Jennifer Makumbi's Kintu.
This article explores the idea that memory exists in two distinct spheres: collective, individual. But what is it that distinguishes the two, and how are they defined and differentiated in Kintu (2014) and Sugar, Sugar (2017)? Building on research that asserts the fallibility of individual memory and the power of collective memory to build convincing narratives, this article studies how characters in the two texts interact with these concepts, and how these interactions allow us to forge new ones. Ultimately, I expand upon Mark Strand’s concept of the ‘gift’, the meaning which collective memory provides to the present, using the texts to understand how this ‘gift’ might apply to individual memory, too.