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Volume 1 Issue 9

February 2015

Nostalgia, Diasporic Consciousness and Search for Identity in M.G. Vassanji’s The Gunny Sack
Ms. R. Priyadarshini, 
Researcher, 
Department of English, 
K. N. Government Arts College for Women, 
Tanjore, Tamil Nadu, India

Dr. A. Saburunnisa, 
Assistant Professor, 
Department of English, 
K. N. Government Arts College for Women, 
Tanjore, Tamil Nadu, India
Abstract
Diasporic writings are invariably concerned with exile, memory, diasporic consciousness, longing for return, alienation, nostalgia, search for identity and sense of belonging. Such traits are evident in the works of M.G. Vassanji. His literary career was launched with the publication of The Gunny Sack, the saga of an Asian-African family in East Africa told through the contents of a magic gunny sack. It was his first attempt at fiction. In this novel Vassanji tells the story of four generations of Asians in East Africa. He examines the theme of identify, displacement and race relations. This paper focuses on the search for the origins, in addition to the necessity for self-knowledge and survival on the part of the diasporic self. Throughout the novel Salim Juma negotiates communal and individual identities, the life of the continent of Africa and the lives of individuals. He explores the past, constructs genealogies and traces the complex formations of the sites of subjectivity through ruptures, dispersal and mutations.
Keywords
Culture; Identity; Diaspora; The Gunny Sack; M.G. Vassanji.
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Progressive Publishers is a novice publishing enterprise located at Tranquebar, Tamilnadu, India. It primarily publishes university text-books for efficient English language learning and an online scholarly journal entitled Literary Quest. Its primary goal is to promote progressive, secular, socialist and egalitarian thoughts among academicians, researchers and students of English literature. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Social Justice are the ideals upon which the whole enterprise rests.