Reading New Black Fiction of South East Asia: An ex-centric approach to transnational literary studies

Baxter, Katherine (2013) Reading New Black Fiction of South East Asia: An ex-centric approach to transnational literary studies. The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 48 (3). pp. 349-362. ISSN 0021-9894

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Responding to critiques of the status quo in transnational literary studies, this essay models an alternative approach, particularly for the field of African–Asian studies. The transnational turn in literary studies has often been less global than we might desire: postcolonial texts are frequently read in terms of predetermined features or ideologies, and comparative studies often posit the USA as their locus for comparison. Following Ato Quayson’s call for attention to the “ex-centric” in postcolonial and transnational literature, this essay demonstrates how the figures of gui and Eshu emerge as interpretative keys in two recent African–Asian works, by Ken Kamoche and Biyi Bandele. The essay argues that these figures point up the complexities inherent in transnational relations, which the texts explore. The essay invites us to read with greater alertness to the “ex-centric” in transnational texts in order to unpack their full implications.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Africa, Burma, China, East Asia, Eshu, gui, identity, language, transnational
Subjects: R900 Others in European Languages, Literature and related subjects
T300 South Asian studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2013 16:37
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:03

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