A Sea for Encounters

Essays Towards a Postcolonial Commonwealth


The present volume contains general essays on: the relevance of ‘Commonwealth’ literature; the treatment of Dalits in literature and culture; the teaching of African literature in the UK; ‘sharing places’ and Drum magazine in South Africa; black British book covers as primers for cultural contact; Christianity, imperialism, and conversion; Orang Pendek and Papuans in colonial Indonesia; Carnival and drama in the anglophone Caribbean; issues of choice between the Maltese language and Its Others; and patterns of interaction between married couples in Malta. As well as these, there are essays providing close readings of works by the following authors: Chinua Achebe, André Aciman, Diran Adebayo, Monica Ali, Edward Atiyah, Margaret Atwood, Murray Bail, Peter Carey, Amit Chaudhuri, Austin Clarke, Sara Jeannette Duncan, Amitav Ghosh, Nadine Gordimer, Antjie Krog, Hanif Kureishi, Naguib Mahfouz, David Malouf, V.S. Naipaul, Michael Ondaatje, Tayeb Salih, Zadie Smith, Ahdaf Soueif, Yvonne Vera.
Contributors: Jogamaya Bayer, Katrin Berndt, Sabrina Brancato, Monica Bungaro, Judith Lütge Coulli, Robert Cribb, Natasha Distiller, Evelyne Hanquart–Turner, Marie Herbillon, Tuomas Huttunen, Gen’ichiro Itakura, Jacqueline Jondot, Karen King–Aribisala, Ursula Kluwick, Dorothy Lane, Ben Lebdai, Lourdes López–Ropero, Amin Malak, Daniel Massa, Concepción Mengibar–Rico, Susanne Reichl, Brigitte Scheer–Schaezler, Lydia Sciriha, Jamie S. Scott, Andrea Strolz, Peter O. Stummer, Cynthia vanden Driesen, Clare Thake Vassallo.

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Stella Borg Barthet is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Malta. She is the author of papers and book chapters, mostly on Maltese, Australian, and African fiction. Her current research interests include North African and African-American writing.
Introduction and Acknowledgements
Towards a Postcolonial Commonwealth
Daniel Massa: The Relevance of Commonwealth Literature
Peter O. Stummer: The Commitment Against Exclusion
Monica Bungaro: The Teaching of African Literature in the UK: Theoretical and Pedagogical Implications
Borders and Crossings
Jogamaya Bayer: Crossing the Borders in Monica Ali’s Brick Lane and V.S. Naipaul’s Half a Life
Sabrina Brancato: Transcultural Outlooks in The Buddha of Suburbia and Some Kind of Black
Gen’ichiro Itakura: Jewishness, Goyishness, and Blackness: Zadie Smith’s The Autograph Man
Lourdes López–Ropero : The Pleasures of Slave Food: The Politics of Creolization in Austin Clarke’s Pigtails ’n Breadfruit
Natasha Distiller: “The Most Motley Crewe in All the World”: Sharing Places in South Africa
Ben Lebdai: Nadine Gordimer’s The Pickup: Immigration/Emigration in Today’s World
Perception, Space, Time
Susanne Reichl: Cognitive Encounters: Priming the Reader for Cultural Contact
Katrin Berndt: The Limitations of the Chronotope: Female Longing for Unconstrained Space in Yvonne Vera’s Butterfly Burning
Evelyne Hanquart–Turner: Amit Chaudhuri’s Afternoon Raag: Interplay and Translation of the Chronotopes
Marie Herbillon: Spatial Linearity and Postcolonial Parody in Murray Bail’s Holden’s Performance
Brigitte Scheer–Schaezler: In the Museum of Loss: Reflections on André Aciman’s Essays
Religion and the Sacred
Dorothy Lane: Dominion from Sea to Sea: Christianity, Imperialism, and the Trope of Conversion
Karen King–Aribisala: Sharing Male and Female Spaces: Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
Jamie S. Scott: “You’re Not Only Drunk But Mad”: The Ironies of Islam in Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North
History and Narrative
Robert Cribb: Nature Conservation and Cultural Preservation in Convergence: Orang Pendek and Papuans in Colonial Indonesia
Amin Malak: Colonial Encounters or Clash of Civilizations? The Fiction of Naguib Mahfouz, Tayeb Salih, and Ahdaf Soueif
Jacqueline Jondot: A British Napoleon Or, Can the Empire Strike Back? Edward Atiyah’s The Eagle Flies from the East
Ursula Kluwick: The Personal and the Public: Michael Ondaatje’s Historiographic Metafiction and the Question of Political Engagement
Andrea Strolz: ‘True Stories’ in the Course of Time in Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin
Cynthia vanden Driesen: Rewriting Europe: Carey’s Jack Maggs and Malouf’s Remembering Babylon
Concepción Mengíbar–Rico: The Carnivalesque into Theatre: Carnival and Drama in the Anglophone Caribbean
Language and Translation
Tuomas Huttunen: Ethics, Language, and the Writing of Amitav Ghosh
Clare Thake Vassallo: Identity and Instruction: Issues of Choice Between the Maltese Language and Its Others
Lydia Sciriha: Different Genders, Different Conversation Styles? Patterns of Interaction Between Married Couples in Malta
Judith Lütge Coullie: Translating Narrative in the New South Africa: Transition and Transformation in A Change of Tongue
Notes on Contributors