Negotiating Cultural Identity In Exile
This study examines how immigrant characters in Dinaw Mengestu’s novels Children of the Revolution and All Our Names negotiate cultural identity in foreign spaces. Mengestu as a contemporary African writer in the diaspora explores the experiences of African immigrants and their struggles to belong in new cultural spaces challenging the notions of fixity and stability of identity hence opening up new modes of considering cultural identity. Drawing upon the concepts of hybridity, third space in postcolonial theory, and cosmopolitanism, this study suggests that these novels show subject position and cultural identity as not fixed into definitive categorical distinction but as fluid concepts. Mengestu does not only praise possibilities of belonging beyond the confines of a nation or community but also present the cosmopolitan world where negotiation and belonging is difficult because of power differences, racism, marginalization and discrimination. The study also relies on narratology in analysing the narrative strategies employed in the novels in constructing these cultural identities and how the author articulates his message to the readers.
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