Uses of humour in post-9/11 Pakistani anglophone fiction

H.M. Naqvi’s Home Boy and Mohammed Hanif’s A Case of Exploding Mangoes

Authored by: Ambreen Hai

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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Since 9/11, Muslims have been increasingly characterised as lacking a sense of humour, where humour is taken as a sign of the human. In response, like writers from other marginalised or othered groups, a new generation of Pakistani anglophone writers has adopted benign humour as a form of resistance and challenge to domination, as a sign and reassertion of humanity, resilience, intelligence, and as a way to build community and foster rethinking. Drawing on critical humour theory, this essay closely analyses two novels – H.M. Naqvi’s Home Boy and Mohammed Hanif’s A Case of Exploding Mangoes – to show how each deploys different strategies and forms of humour to do serious political and cultural work.

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