Narratives of Flight and Arrival: Abu Bakr Khaal's African Titanics (2014 [2008]) and Sunjeev Sahota's The Year of the Runaways (2015)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In considering the diverse contexts and frameworks of production and reception of texts by and about refugees and immigrants, this article compares two novels that represent different types of the migrant experience of subjectification and marginalisation: African Titanics, by Arab writer, Abu Bakr Khaal (2014), set in the present day, and The Year of the Runaways (2015), by British born Indian, Sunjeev Sahota, set in the 1970s. Identified as novels of flight and arrival respectively, and as indicative of post-2008 types of precarity, both individual and social, they generate different social imaginaries: of flight, imprisonment, and art as salvation in the first, and arrival, and tensions spanning homeland and diaspora in the second. Drawing on Judith Butler’s arguments in Precarious Life (2004) the article identifies interpretative frameworks of perception that mobilise and manage readers’ ethical and affective responses to these narratives about refugees and illegal immigrants.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3-4
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalPostcolonial Text
Volume12
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017

Fingerprint

Flight
Africa
Titanic
Novel
Refugees
Immigrants
Affective Response
Migrants
Indicative
Reception
Salvation
Homeland
Reader
Diaspora
Art
1970s
Writer
Imprisonment
Subjectification
Social Imaginaries

Keywords

  • Refugee
  • frameworks of perception
  • immigrant novel
  • precarity
  • social imaginary
  • Abu Bakr Khaal
  • Sunjeev Sahota

Cite this

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abstract = "In considering the diverse contexts and frameworks of production and reception of texts by and about refugees and immigrants, this article compares two novels that represent different types of the migrant experience of subjectification and marginalisation: African Titanics, by Arab writer, Abu Bakr Khaal (2014), set in the present day, and The Year of the Runaways (2015), by British born Indian, Sunjeev Sahota, set in the 1970s. Identified as novels of flight and arrival respectively, and as indicative of post-2008 types of precarity, both individual and social, they generate different social imaginaries: of flight, imprisonment, and art as salvation in the first, and arrival, and tensions spanning homeland and diaspora in the second. Drawing on Judith Butler’s arguments in Precarious Life (2004) the article identifies interpretative frameworks of perception that mobilise and manage readers’ ethical and affective responses to these narratives about refugees and illegal immigrants.",
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AB - In considering the diverse contexts and frameworks of production and reception of texts by and about refugees and immigrants, this article compares two novels that represent different types of the migrant experience of subjectification and marginalisation: African Titanics, by Arab writer, Abu Bakr Khaal (2014), set in the present day, and The Year of the Runaways (2015), by British born Indian, Sunjeev Sahota, set in the 1970s. Identified as novels of flight and arrival respectively, and as indicative of post-2008 types of precarity, both individual and social, they generate different social imaginaries: of flight, imprisonment, and art as salvation in the first, and arrival, and tensions spanning homeland and diaspora in the second. Drawing on Judith Butler’s arguments in Precarious Life (2004) the article identifies interpretative frameworks of perception that mobilise and manage readers’ ethical and affective responses to these narratives about refugees and illegal immigrants.

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KW - social imaginary

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