Nadeem Aslam

Sara Upstone

in British Asian Fiction

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780719078323
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703229 | DOI:
Nadeem Aslam

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In his three novels, Season of the Rainbirds (1993), Maps for Lost Lovers (2004) and The Wasted Vigil (2008), Nadeem Aslam fuses conventional postcolonial themes and literary techniques with a distinctly British sensibility. Born in Pakistan in 1966, he came with his parents to Britain at the age of fourteen, where the family settled in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and has described himself as ‘a Pakistani man living in Britain’. Yet, elsewhere, Aslam is described as ‘Pakistani-British’. This personal history embodies his dual positioning as both British Asian and postcolonial migrant author. In many senses, Aslam, rather than embodying the qualities of British Asian literature, is part of the publishing storm surrounding postcolonial writers that developed in the 1990s. He is evidence of how, to consider British Asian authors simply in relation to an ethnic literature (whether defined as British Asian, Black British or postcolonial) is to neglect wider paradigms in contemporary literary fiction: not just British, but also international.

Keywords: Season of Rainbirds; Lost Lovers; Wasted Vigil; Nadeem Aslam; Pakistan; Britain; British Asian literature; British Asian authors; ethnic literature; literary fiction

Chapter.  7418 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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