This is a major new collection of essays on literary and cultural representations of migration and terrorism, the cultural impact of 9/11, and the subsequent ‘war on terror’. The collection commences with analyses of the relationship between migration and terrorism, which has been the focus of much mainstream political and media debate since the attacks on America in 2001 and the London bombings in 2005, not least because liberal democratic governments in Europe and North America have invoked such attacks to justify the regulation of migration and the criminalisation of ‘minority’ groups. Responding to the consequent erosion of the liberal democratic rights of the individual, leading scholars assess the various ways in which literary texts support and/or interrogate the conflation of narratives of transnational migration and perceived terrorist threats to national security. This crucial debate is furthered by contrasting analyses of the manner in which novelists from the UK, North Africa, the US and Palestine have represented 9/11, exploring the event’s contexts and ramifications.
This path-breaking study complicates the simplistic narratives of revenge and wronged innocence commonly used to make sense of the attacks and to justify the US response. Each novel discussed seeks to interrogate and analyse a discourse typically dominated by consent, belligerence and paranoia. Together, the collected essays suggest the value of literature as an effective critical intervention in the very fraught political aftermath of the ‘war on terror’.
This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing.
Foreword Part 1: Migration and Terrorism 1. Introduction 2. Salman Rushdie and the “war on terror” 3. Migrating from terror: The postcolonial novel after September 11 4. E-terror: Computer viruses, class and transnationalism in Transmission and One Night @ the Call Center 5. Anarchism, anti-imperialism and “The Doctrine of Dynamite” 6. Towards a critique of colonial violence: Fanon, Gandhi and the restoration of agency Part 2: Literary Responses to the War on Terror 7. Introduction 8. Moving through America: Race, place and resistance in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist 9. Another Black September? Palestinian writing after 9/11 10. “Why I am writing from where you are not”: Absence and presence in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close 11. 9/11, image control, and the graphic narrative: Spiegelman, Rehr, Torres 12. Ghosts of Gotham: 9/11 mourning in Patrick McGrath’s Ghost Town and Michael Cunningham’s Specimen Days13. Jihad as rite of passage: Tahar Djaout’s The Last Summer of Reason and Slimane Benaïssa’s The Last Night of a Damned Soul14. Paranoia in Spook Country: William Gibson and the technological sublime of the war on terror