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A comparative approach to Pakistani fiction in English

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Publication details

JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
DatePublished - May 2011
Issue number2
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)122-34
Original languageEnglish


This survey paper adumbrates an opening up of Pakistani fiction in order to draw comparisons with other writing by novelists of Muslim heritage. While Pakistani writers tend to be analysed as part of broader South Asian trends, Pakistan also faces west and has concerns in the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe and beyond that derive from its Muslim identity. Without overstating the idea of a universalizing umma (which can lead to neglect of the differences and tensions between different Muslim groups), the approach has the advantage of bringing together writers from Muslim countries to shed light on each other. South Asians, Arabs, and Africans are discussed together, because of their shared religious heritage, but never overlooking their vast contextual variations. Insights and themes unique to the research include the fact that writers often tap into a canon of largely Muslim literature and art from the Middle East, South Asia and elsewhere, which responds to key moments in the construction of Muslim identity, so intertextuality is a significant concern.

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© 2011 Taylor & Francis. This is an author produced version of a paper accepted for publication in Journal of Postcolonial Writing. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.

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