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Sunday, 08 July 2012 01:06

The global and the postcolonial in postmigratory literature

The global and the postcolonial in post-migratory literature

Author/Editor: Gamal, Ahmed

Year of publication: 2012 (online); forthcoming (print)

Keywords: cosmopolitanism, Kamila Shamsie, postcolonial literature, Mohsin Hamid, migratory literaure

Place of Publication & Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Publisher URL:

ISBN/ISSN: 1744-9855 (Print), 1744-9863 (Online)

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Journal of Postcolonial Writing

In the last 30 years of a new global era marked by fluidity and border crossing, migrant literature has proved an important literary subgenre of postcolonial writing. While the analytical category of “migrant literature” has superseded canonical categories such as “western literature” and “world literature”, debate continues about its nature as a historically rooted counter-discourse to the prevailing ideologies of the global and the national. Central to the discussion of migrant literature is Elleke Boehmer’s attempt to redefine such hybrid texts of the early 2000s as “post-migratory” rather than simply “migrant” in her second edition of the influential Colonial and Postcolonial Literature: Migrant Metaphors. This article seeks to elaborate on the main features of post-migratory literature as represented by the post-9/11 writing of Anglo-Pakistani writers, namely Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist( 2007) and Kamila Shamsie’s Burnt Shadows (2009). Far from being passively collusive with globalization, this new postcolonial subgenre can be defined as one mainly premised on the double agenda of either resisting neo-imperial designs or contrastively constructing transcultural contact zones grounded in reconcilable compatibilities. In this sense, post-migratory literature can offer a definitive new perspective on the borderline of the global and the postcolonial.

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