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The figure of the diasporic or migrant writer has recently come to be seen in the West as the "Everyman" of the late modern period, a cultural traveller who can traverse national, political and ethnic boundaries. This text seeks not only to place individual works of now world famous writers such as V.S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Sam Selvon or Hanif Kureishi within a diverse tradition of im/migrant writing that has evolved in Britain since the Second World War, but also locates their work within an historical, cultural and aesthetic framework which has its roots prior to postwar migrations and derives from long established indigenous traditions at "home" and "abroad". Nasta also examines the work of lesser known writers, including Attia Hosain, G.V. Desani, Aubrey Menen and Romesh Gunesekera. Close critical readings combine with an historical and theoretical overview in this first book to chart the crucial role played by writers of South Asian origin in the belated acceptance of a literary poetics of black and Asian writing in Britain today.
SUSHEILA NASTA is Research Lecturer in Literature at the Open University. She is also Associate Fellow, Institute of English Studies, University of London, and Editor of Wasafiri.