Historiographic metafiction and renarrating history

Authored by: Nisreen T. Yousef

The Routledge Companion to Pakistani Anglophone Writing

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138745520
eBook ISBN: 9781315180618
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines representations of Islamic cultures in two Pakistani anglophone historical novels: The Book of Saladin (1998) by Tariq Ali and Shadow of the Swords (2010) by Kamran Pasha. It considers Ali’s and Pasha’s deployment of historiographic metafiction as a means of complicating, refuting, or reinforcing established present-day ideas about Islam and the West. The chapter explores the authors’ attempts to eliminate the boundaries between what is historical and what is fictional in ways that contest the ability of history to provide the ultimate truth. By providing fictional accounts of the Third Crusade, both Ali and Pasha renarrate history from the perspective of the colonised.

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