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The Transnational Imaginaries of M. G. Vassanji

Diaspora, Literature, and Culture

by Karim Murji (Volume editor) Asma Sayed (Volume editor)
Edited Collection X, 232 Pages

Summary

The Transnational Imaginaries of M. G. Vassanji is a collection of scholarly articles that engages with, analyzes, and appreciatively critiques the fiction and nonfiction writing of M. G. Vassanji, a multiple award-winning author. Vassanji’s works have a sense of multiple connections across four continents: Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. He challenges the imperial centers of Western powers through the content of his work and his deeply-felt humanist engagements with the politics of displacement, settlement, partition and postcolonialism. Ranging across almost his entire oeuvre, the contributors to this book argue that Vassanji’s work should be read as one emerging from a transnational space that connects people, places and issues across the world. Collectively, the chapters in this book, using a range of theoretical frameworks, claim that Vassanji’s work both fits into and goes beyond the usual categorizations, structures and styles of analysis applied to writers from the colonies.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the book
  • Advance Praise for The Transnational Imaginaries of M. G. Vassanji
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Introduction: Locating M.G. Vassanji in a Transnational Context (Asma Sayed / Karim Murji)
  • 1. “An Open Wound”: The Memory and Legacy of Partition in Vassanji’s Writings on India (John Clement Ball)
  • 2. Thinking through India, Transnationally: Still Writing from a Hard Place? (Delphine Munos)
  • 3. Agents of Impermanence: The Visitor Figure in A Place Within (Vera Alexander)
  • 4. Travel as a Way Inward: Vassanji’s A Place Within (Jonathan Locke Hart)
  • 5. ‘Ye Zindagi Usiki Hai’: Illicit Desire and (Post)colonial Romance in The Book of Secrets (Gaurav Desai)
  • 6. The Sacred as a Theme in The Assassin’s Song and The Magic of Saida (Neelima Kanwar)
  • 7. Roots/Routes and Rhizomes: Diasporic Tourism and the Return of the Native Stranger in The Magic of Saida (Jonathan Rollins)
  • 8. Narrating Violence as a Metaphor of Colonial Enterprise in The Book of Secrets (Remmy Shiundu Barasa)
  • 9. Riding the Third Rail: Perpetual Movement and Imagined Return in The In-Between World of Vikram Lall (Aaron Louis Rosenberg)
  • 10. “This Was My Country—How Could It Not Be?”: On the Significance of Travel in The In-Between World of Vikram Lall (Shizen Ozawa)
  • 11. Journeys and Re-membered Communities in Amriika (Godwin Siundu)
  • 12. Reading Vassanji’s Women: Reconstructing an Alternate Historiography (Mala Pandurang)
  • Contributors
  • Index
  • Series Index

The Transnational
Imaginaries of
M. G. Vassanji

Diaspora, Literature,
and Culture

Edited by Karim Murji & Asma Sayed

About the book

The Transnational Imaginaries of M. G. Vassanji is a collection of scholarly articles that engages with, analyzes, and appreciatively critiques the fiction and nonfiction writing of M. G. Vassanji, a multiple award-winning author. Vassanji’s works have a sense of multiple connections across four continents: Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. He challenges the imperial centers of Western powers through the content of his work and his deeply-felt humanist engagements with the politics of displacement, settlement, partition and postcolonialism. Ranging across almost his entire oeuvre, the contributors to this book argue that Vassanji’s work should be read as one emerging from a transnational space that connects people, places and issues across the world. Collectively, the chapters in this book, using a range of theoretical frameworks, claim that Vassanji’s work both fits into and goes beyond the usual categorizations, structures and styles of analysis applied to writers from the colonies.

Advance Praise for The Transnational Imaginaries of M. G. Vassanji

“This is a rich and timely collection of essays. The excellent scholars contributing to this book do much more than celebrate M. G. Vassanji’s critically acclaimed and popular writing. Attending to the singularity and multiplicity of his work, they bring important new insights to Vassanji’s novels, short stories, and life writings. This book will feel particularly vital to anyone with an interest in story telling from and about East Africa, South Asia and North America; and not least because it is energised by a shared and urgent commitment to a ‘transnational’ understanding of geography and history. This is an important book for any reader with an interest in stories about location and dislocation, and about what transnational storytelling might mean for being postcolonial, diasporic, or worldly in any way. Most importantly, perhaps, the book is vibrantly attuned to Vassanji’s ‘deeply humanistic outlook’. Through the rigorous exercise of close literary, historical, geographical and political analyses, the authors of The Transnational Imaginaries of M. G. Vassanji pursue an acute engagement with what literary culture means for being human today.”

Stephanie Jones, University of Southampton

The Transnational Imaginaries of M. G. Vassanji is a long overdue academic study of M. G. Vassanji’s work. Vassanji is one of the most category-defying, unsettling, yet rewarding writers of the contemporary age. In writing that cannot but resonate for our divided Brexit/Trump world, Karim Murji and Asma Sayed and their contributors show that this multivalent, border-crossing author nonetheless produces imaginative work replete with a singularity of vision.”

Claire Chambers, University of York, UK

“The editors and contributors to this collection succeed in highlighting the multiple dimensions to Vassanji’s work but do so in linking it to ever-present issues of humanity and being in the globalized world as crossing geographical, political, social, and cultural boundaries. This volume provides a much needed addition to scholarship on Vassanji’s work in its consideration of the complexities of systems of identification and belonging that breakdown the notion of the political as personal and the personal as political within a transnational, diasporic and cross-cultural context.”

Cristina Santos, author of Unbecoming Female Monsters: Witches, Vampires and Virgins

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Details

Pages
X, 232
ISBN (PDF)
9781433147531
ISBN (ePUB)
9781433147548
ISBN (MOBI)
9781433147555
ISBN (Hardcover)
9781433147524
Language
English
Publication date
2018 (August)
Published
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Vienna, Oxford, Wien, 2018. X, 232 pp.

Biographical notes

Karim Murji (Volume editor) Asma Sayed (Volume editor)

Karim Murji is a professor in the Graduate School at the University of West London and was previously based at the Open University, UK. His recent books include Racism, Policy and Politics (2017) and, edited with John Solomos, Theories of Race and Ethnicity: Contemporary Debates and Perspectives (2015). With Sarah Neal, he is the Editor of Current Sociology. Asma Sayed is a professor in the Department of English at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on Indian Ocean studies, postcolonial literature, and South Asian diaspora in Canada. Her work has appeared in leading academic journals, including the Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, Canadian Literature, South Asian Review, Transnational Literature, and the Journal of South Asian Diaspora. Her recent books include M. G. Vassanji: Essays on His Work (2014), Writing Diaspora: Transnational Memories, Identities and Cultures (2014), and Screening Motherhood in Contemporary World Cinema (2016).

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