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

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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-362
JournalThe Journal of Commonwealth Literature
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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