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British Muslim Identities and Spectres of Terror: Nadeem Aslam's Maps for Lost Lovers

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Postcolonial Text
Number of pages19
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article invokes Judith Butler's reconceptualisation of terror in "Precarious Life" (2004) and her call to broaden the lens on the geopolitical distribution of security and vulnerability in the aftermath of 11 September 2001. Moore considers ways in which a contemporary British novel testifies to experience in the interstices of power/knowledge networks and imaginatively intervenes in local, national and global constructions of terror. Nadeem Aslam's second novel, "Maps for Lost Lovers" (2004) is the case study, and twenty-first century constructions of British multiculturalism in the aftermath of 9/11 the context under consideration. One aim of the article is to foreground faith as a component of individual and community identity, hence combating a common oversight in postcolonial literary studies; another is to re-centre British social and literary space. The analysis attends to the novel's articulations of gender, ethnicity, religion, class and faith in a northern British location. The overarching argument is that structural aporia, the interplay of speech and silence, and the conceptual figure of the ghost in Aslam's novel can be engaged as elements of a transformational postcolonial haunting. The reading responds to the plea made by Gerrit-Jan Berendse and Mark Williams, for "a new grammar of response" to 9/11 and the ensuing "war on terror".