• Paracolonialism: a case of post-1988 Anglophone Pakistani fiction

      Saleem, Ali Usman (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-06)
      Embedded in the socio-political milieu of the country Anglophone Pakistani fiction provides a critical perspective on some of the important contemporary issues facing the country like feminism, class struggle, misuse of religious discourse, sectarianism, terrorism and the fragmentation of the Pakistani society. By contextualizing the works of four Pakistani fiction writers, Sara Suleri, Kamila Shamsie, Mohsin Hamid and Mohammed Hanif, in the theoretical paradigms of modernism, postmodernism and postcolonialism, this research identifies salient facets and characteristics of Pakistani Anglophone fiction produced during the last three decades. This thesis argues that Pakistani Anglophone fiction is Janus-faced in nature. On the one hand it specifically deconstructs various indigenous issues which are destabilizing Pakistani society and politics, while on the other hand it challenges the discursive construction of Pakistan as a terrorist country through international discourse. By doing so, these writers not only adopt the role of political commentators and interveners but also create a counter-narrative to Western hegemonic discourse and represent a case for a liberal and democratic Pakistan. Moreover the textual analysis of this fiction indicates a shift from traditional postcolonial literature. Instead of contextualizing their work in the colonial experience of the British Raj or its aftermath, these writers dissociate themselves from it and use this dissociation as a narrative strategy to hold the political and military leadership accountable for the socio-political chaos in Pakistan. The thesis argues that this characteristic of Anglophone Pakistani fiction indicates the emergence of a new phase, ‘Paracolonialism’ or ‘Paracolonial fiction’ which rejects the influence of colonialism on the socio-economic and political crisis of Third World countries and deconstructs various factors which led to their post-independence unstable economy and social fragmentation.