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Secondary Reading List for Postcolonial Literature

Postcolonial Literature, 2019/20, Semester 1
Dr Samuel Durrant
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

General Reading

a) Postcolonial Literature

Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin, The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures (Routledge, 1989).

Elleke Boehmer, Colonial and Postcolonial Literature (Oxford, 1995).

Diana Brydon and Helen Tiffin, Decolonising fictions (Dangaroo, 1993).

Shirley Chew and David Richards (eds.), A concise companion to postcolonial literature (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).

Frank Davey, Post-national arguments : the politics of the Anglophone-Canadian novel since 1967 (Toronto, 1993).

Rosemary M. George, The Politics of Home: Postcolonial Relocations and Twentieth-Century Fiction (CUP, 1996).

Terry Goldie, Fear and temptation : the image of the indigene in Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand literatures (Queen’s University Press, 1989).

Bob Hodge & Vijay Mishra, Dark side of the dream : Australian literature and the postcolonial mind (Allen and Unwin, 1991).

Graham Huggan, Territorial disputes : maps and mapping strategies in contemporary Canadian and Australian fiction (University of Toronto Press, 1994).

Michelle Keown, Postcolonial Pacific writing : representations of the body (Routledge, 2005).

Bruce King (ed.), New national and post-colonial literatures : an introduction (Clarendon Press, 1996).

Michael Parker and Roger Starkey (eds) Postcolonial literatures : Achebe, Ngugi, Desai, Walcott (Macmillan, 1995).

Salman Rushdie, Imaginary homelands : essays and criticism, 1981-1991 (Granta, 1991. (See especially pp. 61-70.)

Anna Rutherford, From Commonwealth to Post-colonial (Dangaroo, 1992). (See especially the essays by Edward Said, Wilson Harris and Nayantara Sahgal.)

John Skinner, The Stepmother Tongue (Macmillan, 1998).

Dennis Walder, Post-colonial literatures in English : history, language, theory (Blackwell, 1998).

William Walsh, Commonwealth Literature (Oxford, 1973).

Jonathan White, Recasting the world : writing after colonialism (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993).


b) Postcolonial Theory (texts marked ‡ are recommended introductions)

Bill Ashcroft, Post-colonial transformation (Routledge, 2001).

Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin (eds.), The Post-Colonial Studies Reader (Routledge, 1995).

Francis Barker, Peter Hulme and Margaret Iverson (eds.) Colonial discourse / postcolonial theory (Manchester U. Press, 1994).

Homi K. Bhabha (ed.), Nation and  Narration (Routledge, 1990).

Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (Routledge, 1994).

Timothy Bewes, The event of postcolonial shame (Princeton University Press, 2011)

Gregory Castle (ed.), Postcolonial discourses : an anthology (Blackwell, 2001).

Peter Childs and Patrick Williams, An Introduction to Post-Colonial Theory, (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1997).

Sam Durrant, Postcolonial narrative and the work of mourning : J.M. Coetzee, Wilson Harris, and Toni Morrison (SUNY Press, 2004).

Frantz Fanon, Black skin, white masks, trans. Charles Lam Markmann (Pluto, 1986 [1952]). Foreword by Homi K. Bhabha.

Leela Gandhi, Postcolonial theory : a critical introduction (Edinburgh, 1998).

Stuart Hall, ‘When Was the “Post-Colonial”? : Thinking at the Limit’ in The post-colonial question : common skies, divided horizons, ed. Iain Chambers and Lidia Curti (Routledge, 1996), pp. 242-260.

Graham Huggan, The postcolonial exotic : marketing the margins (Routledge, 2001).

Graham Huggan and Helen Tiffin, Postcolonial ecocriticism : literature, animals, environment (Routledge, 2010).

Neil Lazarus, The postcolonial unconscious (Cambridge, 2011)

Ania Loomba, Colonialism/Postcolonialism (Routledge, 1998).

John McLeod, Beginning postcolonialism (Manchester University Press, 2000; 2nd ed. 2010).

Bart Moore-Gilbert, Postcolonial theory : contexts, practices, politics. (Verso, 1997).

Bart Moore-Gilbert, Gareth Stanton and Willy Maley (eds.) Postcolonial criticism (Longman, 1997).

Andrew Parker et. al. (ed.), Nationalisms & sexualities (Routledge, 1992).

Rothberg, Michael (2009) Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization. (Stanford University Press, 2009). (Read the intro especially - the concept of multidirectional memory is very powerful for both postcolonial and trauma studies)

Edward W. Said, Orientalism (Penguin 2nd edition, 1995 [orig. 1978]).

_______, Culture and Imperialism (Vintage, 1993).

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, ‘The Rani of Simur’ in Europe and its others : proceedings of the Essex Conference on the Sociology of Literature, July 1984, ed. Francis Barker et. al. (Essex, 1984), pp. 128-151.

_______, The post-colonial critic : interviews, strategies, dialogues, ed. Sara Harasym (Routledge, 1990).

_______, The Spivak reader : selected works of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, ed. Donna Landry and Gerald MacLean (Routledge, 1996).

Chris Tiffin and Alan Lawson, De-scribing Empire : post-colonialism and textuality (Routledge, 1994).

Harish Trivedi and Meenakshi Mukherjee (eds.) Interrogating post-colonialism : theory, text and context (Indian Institute of Advanced Study, 1996).

Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman (eds.), Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory (Harvester, 1993).

Robert Young, Postcolonialism : an historical introduction (Blackwell, 2001).


c) Reference Books (for short definitions of key terms)

Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin (eds.), Post-colonial studies : the key concepts (Routledge, 1998).

Eugene Benson and L. W. Conolly (eds.), Encyclopedia of post-colonial literatures in English, 2 vols (Routledge, 1994).


Top of page

Suggested secondary reading for set texts


Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions

Clare Barker ‘Self‐starvation in the context of hunger: Health, normalcy and the “terror of the possible” in Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions’, Journal of postcolonial writing., 44:2 (2008), 115-125

Gilian Gorle, Fighting the Good Fight: What Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions Says about Language and Power, The yearbook of English studies., Vol. 27 (1997), 179-192

Laura Green, Literary identification from Charlotte Brontë to Tsitsi Dangarembga (Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 2012).

Sally McWilliams, ‘Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions: At the crossroads of feminism and post‐colonialism’, World literature written in English., 31:1 (1991), 103-112 Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

Stephanie M. Selvick, Beyond the binary: Same-sex desire and gender defiance in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions, Journal of postcolonial writing., 49:3 (2013), 278-290

Sue Thomas, ‘Killing the Hysteric in the Colonized’s House: Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions’, The journal of Commonwealth literature., 27 (1992), 26-36

Ann Elizabeth Willey and Jeanette Treiber (eds) (2002) Negotiating the postcolonial : emerging perspectives on Tsitsi Dangarembga(Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press). (Great collection of essays, especially the essay by Brendon Nicholls!)


Witi Ihimaera, The Whale Rider

Allen, Chadwick. Blood narrative : indigenous identity in American Indian and Maori literary and activist texts. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002.

Allen, Chadwick. Trans-indigenous : methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

Barclay, Barry. 'An Open Letter to John Barnett by Barry Barclay', Onfilm 20.2 (2003): 11-14. Available online:

Dodd, Kevin V. 'The re-enactment of myth and the empowerment of women', Journal of religion and film. 16.2 (2012): n.p. (online source).

Goldie, Terry. Fear and temptation : the image of the indigene in Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand literatures '. Kingston: McGill-Quuen's University Press, 1989.

Gonick, Marnina. 'The Whale Rider, decolonization, and the project of remembering', Feminist Media Studies 10.3 (2010): 305-319.

Hau'ofa, Epeli. 'Our Sea of Islands', The Contemporary Pacific 6.1 (1994): 147-161.

Hokowhitu, Brendan. 'Understanding Whangara: Whale Rider as Simulacrum', New Zealand Journal of Media Studies 10.2 (2007): 22-30.

Keown, Michelle. Pacific Islands writing : the postcolonial literatures of Aotearoa/New Zealand and Oceania. OUP, 2007.

Meklin, Margaret and Andew Meklin. 'This Magnificent Accident: An Interview with Witi Ihimaera'. The Contemporary Pacific 16.2 (2004): 358-364.

Prentice, Chris. 'Riding the Whale? Postcolonialism and Globalization in Whale Rider', in Clara A. Joseph and Janet Wilson, eds, Global fissures : postcolonial fusions. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006, 247-268. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

Meffan, James, ‘“Culturalism gone mad”: The Play of Cultural Rhetoric in the Invention of New Zealand National Identity’, Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings, 8.2 (2008): 27-43.

Sissons, Jeffrey. First peoples : indigenous cultures and their futures. London: Reaktion, 2005.

*Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing methodologies : research and indigenous peoples. London: Zed Books, 1999.

Stewart-Harawira, Makere. The new imperial order : indigenous responses to globalization. London: Zed Books, 2005.

Wendt, Albert. 'Towards a New Oceania', Mana Review 1.1 (1976).


Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies

Bahareh Bahmanpour, ‘Female Subjects and Negotiating Identities in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies’, Studies in Literature and Language, 1:6, 2010, pp. 43-51.

Noelle Brada-Williams, ‘Reasing Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies as a Short Story Cycle’, MELUS., 29: 3-4, 2004, pp. 451-464

Susan Koshy, ‘Minority Cosmopolitanism’, PMLA., 126: 3, 2011, pp. 592-609.

Julia Leyda, ‘An Interview with Jhumpa Lahiri’, Contemporary women's writing, 7: 2, 2013, pp. 66-83

Laura Anh Williams, ‘Foodways and Subjectivity in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies ’, MELUS, 32: 4, 2007, pp. 69-79.


Kei Miller,   The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion

Alonso, Maria Alonso, 'The Rhetoric of Movement: exploring the art of mapping in Kei Miller's The Cartographer...', Oceánide, 11, 2019. Available online   

Campbell, Alexandra, 'Atlantic Exchanges: the poetics of dispersal and disposal in Scottish and Caribbean seas', Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 55:2, 2019, pp. 195-208.

Miller, Kei ‘Imagining Nations’, Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings, 11.1 (2011): 14-20.

Rose-Steel, Michael, 'Of Metaphors and Maps: cartographic thinking and the poetry of Kei Miller', Politics of Place: Green Connections, 3, pp. 40-55 -- see


Mourid Barghouti, I saw Ramallah

Ball, Anna. Palestinian literature and film in postcolonial feminist perspective. London: Routledge, 2012.

Barghouti, Mourid. I was born there, I was born here. London: Bloomsbury, 2011.

Bernard, Anna. Rhetorics of Belonging : "Nation, Narration, and Israel/Palestine ". Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013.

Bugeja, Norbert. Postcolonial memoir in the Middle East : rethinking the liminal in Mashriqi writing London: Routledge, 2012.

Dabashi, Hamid. The Arab spring : the end of postcolonialism. London: Zed Books, 2012.

Farrier, David. 'Washing Words: the Politics of Water in Mourid Barghouti's I Saw Ramallah', The journal of Commonwealth literature. 2013 (I need to complete the reference).

Gregory, Derek. The colonial present : Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2004.

Kaplan, Caren. Questions of travel : postmodern discourses of displacement Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996.

Khalidi, Rashid. Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.

Mattar, Karim. 'Mourid Barghouti's "multiple displacements": exile and the national checkpoint in Palestinian literature', Journal of postcolonial writing. 50.1 (2014): 103-115.

Moore-Gilbert, Bart. Postcolonial life-writing : culture, politics and self-representation London: Routledge, 2009.

Said, Edward W. After the last sky : Palestinian lives. London: Vintage, 1986.

Said, Edward W. Reflections on exile, and other literary and cultural essays. London: Granta, 2001.

Salzman, Philip Carl and Donna Robinson Divine, eds. Postcolonial theory and the Arab-Israel conflict London: Routledge, 2008.

Weizman, Eyal. Hollow land : Israel's architecture of occupation. London: Verso.


Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost

Burrows, Victoria ‘The heterotopic spaces of Postcolonial Trauma in Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost ’. Studies in the novel., 40.1/2 (2008) :161-77.  

Halpe, Ashley, ‘Anil’s Ghost as Symphonic Poem: Viewed in the Context of Michael Ondaatje’s Re-engagements with Sri Lanka’, Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings, 10.2 (2010): 43-56. 

Knowles, Sam ‘Sri Lankan “gates of fire”: Michael Ondaatje's transnational literature, from Running in the Family to Anil's Ghost ’. The journal of Commonwealth literature., 45.3 (2010): 429-41

Scanlan, Margaret  ‘ Anil's Ghost and terrorism’s time’. Studies in the novel., 36.3 (2004): 302-17.

Silva, Neluka, ‘Cultural Resources for Peace: Teledrama and Conflict Transformation in Sri Lankan Society’, Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings, 5.2 (2005): 126-135.

Spencer, Jonathan, ed. (1990) Sri Lanka : history and the roots of conflict (Routledge, 1990).

Spinks, Lee (2009) Michael Ondaatje. (Manchester University Press 2009).

Tötösy de Zepetnek, Steven, ed.   Comparative cultural studies and Michael Ondaatje's writing. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2005.

See also: Michael Ondaatje: Critical Perspectives, special issue of Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings, 10.2 (2010).


J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace

Attridge, Derek. ‘Age of Bronze, State of Grace: Music and Dogs in Coetzee’s Disgrace ’.  Novel.  34.1 (Fall 2000): 98-121

Attridge, Derek, ed. Special Issue on Disgrace. Interventions. . 4.3 (2002) (key collection of essays).

de Boever. Arne. ‘Feminism After Rancière: Women in J.M. Coetzee and Jeff Wall, Transformations [electronic resource]. 19 (2011)—e journal.

J.M. Coetzee. The lives of animals Ed Amy Gutmann. (Princeton 1999).

J.M. Coetzee. White writing : on the culture of letters in South Africa (Yale, 1988).

J.M Coetzee. Doubling the point : essays and interviews , ed. David Atwell, Harvard, 1992.

Poyner, Jane, ed.. J.M. Coetzee and the idea of the public intellectual (Ohio UP, 2006).

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Ethics and Politics in Tagore, Coetzee, and Certain Scenes of Teaching." Diacritics. 32.3-4 (2002): 17-31.

This list was last updated on 26/09/2019