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Twenty-First-Century Antigones: The Postcolonial Woman Shaped by 9/11 in Kamila Shamsie's Home Fire

Lau, L; Mendes, AC

Authors

AC Mendes



Abstract

Set in the early 2010s, the backdrop of Kamila Shamsie's novel Home Fire (2017) is a familiar one to contemporary readers, colored by the rise of farright populist movements and the increase in anti-Muslim initiatives. This article examines how the novel engages with new Orientalist representations post-9/11 on two levels. Firstly, Shamsie's novel is shaped by the political narratives of the War on Terror and, in turn, responds to the upshot of these new configurations of power, reflecting how the difficulty of making sense of 9/11 exacerbated the Orientalist binary of East and West. Secondly, the novel reflects on the unenviable choice, for female kin to male terrorists, of either being Orientalized or re-orientalizing, a form of self-perpetrated Othering. This study is framed by re-orientalism theory in its analysis of how the East continues to engage the West in increasingly self-aware, multi-layered ways, constantly renegotiating positions of power and influence.

Acceptance Date Apr 1, 2021
Publication Date Apr 1, 2021
Journal Studies in the Novel
Print ISSN 0039-3827
Publisher Johns Hopkins University Press
Pages 54 - 68
DOI https://doi.org/10.1353/sdn.2021.0004
Keywords postcolonial women; Kamila Shamsie
Publisher URL https://muse.jhu.edu/article/785280#info_wrap