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Peter Morey

characters who are, nevertheless, adherents of a belief system founded on the notion of good and evil as absolute antitheses. The achievement of Mistry, and those other recent Parsi writers, is, in part, to have kept alive a critical dialogue between the formative myths of their culture and the requirements of an on-going history. Of course, the Persian legacy constitutes only one part of Mistry’s multiple literary inheritance. The author has cited among his favourites such luminaries as V. S. Naipaul, Ivan Turgenev, Vladimir Nabokov, Muriel Spark and Albert Camus.40 To

in Rohinton Mistry
De-scribing Imperial identity from alien to migrant
Peter Childs

Indian descent V. S. Naipaul. Naipaul’s displaced individuals epitomise the highpoint of Indian homelessness in the face of English modes of identity. Homi Bhabha even talks of his forays into theory beginning at the moment he realised that the metaphor of the home in the West, both in terms of belonging and of the ‘house of fiction’, would not accommodate his reading of diaspora and homelessness in Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas (1961): ‘here you had a novel where the realism, if you like, was unable to contain the anguish of displacement and movement as poor Mr

in Across the margins
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The adolescent girl and the nation
Elleke Boehmer

principle achieved, the daughter figure within the framework of the postcolonial narrative that inscribes the new nation is, if not subordinate, peripheral and quiet, then virtually invisible. The pre-eminent status of national sons, and the overshadowed position of their sisters, is exemplified in postcolonial fiction from the 1950s and into the 1990s by writers as diverse as George Lamming, Sam Selvon, V. S. Naipaul, Alex La Guma, Salman Rushdie, Shashi Tharoor and Romesh Gunesekera. A nuclear family fronted by a male heir is emblematically carved onto Gikonyo’s stool, a

in Stories of women