In his three novels, Season of the Rainbirds (1993), Maps for Lost Lovers (2004) and The Wasted Vigil (2008), Nadeem Aslam fuses conventional postcolonial themes and literary techniques with a distinctly British sensibility. Born in Pakistan in 1966, he came with his parents to Britain at the age of fourteen, where the family settled in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and has described himself as ‘a Pakistani man living in Britain’. Yet, elsewhere, Aslam is described as ‘Pakistani-British’. This personal history embodies his dual positioning as both British Asian and postcolonial migrant author. In many senses, Aslam, rather than embodying the qualities of British Asian literature, is part of the publishing storm surrounding postcolonial writers that developed in the 1990s. He is evidence of how, to consider British Asian authors simply in relation to an ethnic literature (whether defined as British Asian, Black British or postcolonial) is to neglect wider paradigms in contemporary literary fiction: not just British, but also international.
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