Lau, L and Mendes, AC (2018) Post-9/11 re-orientalism: Confrontation and conciliation in Mohsin Hamid’s and Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 53 (1). pp. 78-91. ISSN 1741-6442

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This article offers a comparative reading of the novel and film adaptation of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, looking at the ways these texts represent changing Western public perceptions towards Pakistan and vice-versa along the temporal axis 2001–2007–2012. Both novel and film are informed by the post-9/11 distrust of the Muslim other. Mohsin Hamid’s novel was begun before 9/11 and published seven years later, in 2007; Mira Nair’s film adaptation followed in 2012, with a premiere at the Venice Film Festival (as the opening film) and the Toronto Film Festival. Ostensibly more conciliatory than Hamid’s novel, Nair’s film adaptation attempts to build bridges, stressing the tragedy of cultural suspicion and mistrust that besets the relationships between Pakistan and the US, endeavouring to open and facilitate dialogue. Despite utilizing spaces of ambiguity to expose the dangers of binary thinking, both novel and film ultimately demonstrate that representations are still unable to escape the loop of orientalism and re-orientalism, highlighting the tension of how East and West continue as locked into this circular mode of relational identity.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online before print, © The Authors, Sage Publications.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mohsin Hamid, Mira Nair, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, re-orientalism, film adaptation, Pakistan, 9/11 cinema, 9/11 literature, Islamophobia
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 09:06
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2021 10:57

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