From the Indian Ocean to the American west, three daring fiction writers tell the story of the dispossessed. Like many characters in post-colonial literatureFrom the Indian Ocean to the American west, three daring fiction writers tell the story of the dispossessed. Like many characters in post-colonial literature, their protagonists have been cut off from motherlands by war, prison and migration. But the terrain of dislocation these writers explore–spanning the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, an imagined concentration camp for Arab Americans and the pathways between 1980s California and a war-torn Punjab–is startlingly new.
One of France’s foremost emerging authors, Nathacha Appanah reads from her novel The Last Brother, which tells the little known story of Jewish refugees who are refused entrance to Palestine and imprisoned on Mauritius. This “important story, lyrical, grave and gorgeously told” (Victoria Redel) tells the story of two boys–one Indian, one Jewish–and their deeply moving attempts to escape both prison camp and the terrifying wilderness that surrounds it.
Science fiction meets post-9/11 civil liberties in Youmna Chlala’s stunning short story about concentration camps in the American southwest. Playwright Ranbir Sidhu reads from his recently completed novel The Open Country. The book focuses on a family of Sikh immigrants in 1980s California and is set partly against the distant events in the Punjab in India, where a civil war is raging.
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