After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie

After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie

by Michael Gorra
     
 

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In After Empire Michael Gorra explores how three novelists of empire—Paul Scott, V. S. Naipaul, and Salman Rushdie—have charted the perpetually drawn and perpetually blurred boundaries of identity left in the wake of British imperialism.

Arguing against a model of cultural identity based on race, Gorra begins with Scott's portrait, in The

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Overview


In After Empire Michael Gorra explores how three novelists of empire—Paul Scott, V. S. Naipaul, and Salman Rushdie—have charted the perpetually drawn and perpetually blurred boundaries of identity left in the wake of British imperialism.

Arguing against a model of cultural identity based on race, Gorra begins with Scott's portrait, in The Raj Quartet, of the character Hari Kumar—a seeming oxymoron, an "English boy with a dark brown skin," whose very existence undercuts the belief in an absolute distinction between England and India. He then turns to the opposed figures of Naipaul and Rushdie, the two great novelists of the Indian diaspora. Whereas Naipaul's long and controversial career maps the "deep disorder" spread by both imperialism and its passing, Rushdie demonstrates that certain consequences of that disorder, such as migrancy and mimicry, have themselves become creative forces.

After Empire provides engaging and enlightening readings of postcolonial fiction, showing how imperialism helped shape British national identity—and how, after the end of empire, that identity must now be reconfigured.

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Editorial Reviews

Brian May
After Empire deserves recognition as a perfect example of a relatively new kind of academic production, and one that is likely to become more common in time, given the economics of scholarly publishing at the turn of the century: the specialist/non-specialist hybrid study. This book is at once belletristic and, to use a word that I hope still works après de Man, rigorous...Gorra's book is suitable for professional and nonprofessional audiences alike. The book manages to hit several targets at once, to appeal to that fabled 'general audience' of the educated and the intellectual. -- Contemporary Literature
Library Journal
Gorra (The English Novel at Mid-Century, St. Martin's, 1990) has written a thoughtful, thoroughly researched, jargon-free study of postcolonial literature. She concentrates her study on Paul Scott's Raj Quartet; several works of V.S. Naipaul, including A House for Mr. Biswas (1961) and A Bend in the River (1979); and Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children (1981) and The Satanic Verses (1989). Scott's and Rushdie's novels are set in India after independence, and Naipaul's works describe Indians living outside India. Gorra considers the characters' (both Indian and English) struggles to find personal and cultural identities after Indian independence. There are bibliographic notes for each chapter but no bibliographies. A significant contribution to postcolonial scholarship; highly recommended for academic British studies collections.Judy Mimken, Boise P.L., Id.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226304755
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
03/28/1997
Edition description:
1
Pages:
218
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

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