Transgressive desire, everyday life, and the production of ‘modernity’ in Pakistani anglophone fiction

Authored by: Mosarrap Hossain Khan

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 analyses Mohsin Hamid’s Moth Smoke (2000) and Nadeem Aslam’s Maps for Lost Lovers (2004) in order to illustrate how individual subjects seek to defamiliarise the traditional everyday by engaging in the ‘worldly’ practices of transgressive desire –romantic/illicit love – which become the site for the production of an incipient ‘modern’ Muslim subjectivity. The emergent theme of transgressive desire in Pakistani anglophone fiction posits individual liberation as a contestation with tradition in the domain of the sexual as residual desire that erupts repeatedly, often resulting in the violent deaths of fictional protagonists, mimicking the sociological reality in Pakistan.

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