Love, sex, and desire vs Islam in British Muslim literature

Authored by: Kavita Bhanot

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 is a close reading of love, sex, and desire in Kureishi’s The Black Album, Nadeem Aslam’s Maps for Lost Lovers, and Sarfraz Manzoor’s memoir Greetings from Bury Park. These texts present love, desire, pleasure, and sexuality as aspects of Western liberalism, entangled with abstract notions of music, literature, creativity, imagination, beauty, and freedom, all pitched against a ‘repressive’ Islam. While this binary is stark in The Black Album and Greetings from Bury Park, it is also central to Maps for Lost Lovers – although it appears somewhat complicated due to the novel’s Sufi aesthetic, which is rooted in the subcontinent, entangled with Islam.

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