Identity Formation in Fadia Faqir’s Novel My Name Is Salma
This research explores identity formation, „Otherness‟, the colonial predicament and the sense of alienation of the character in the diaspora as reflected in Fadia Faqir‟s novel My Name is Salma through postcolonial cultural perspectives. My Name is Salma records the protagonist‟s exiled life and portrays the subject‟s attempt to come to an understanding of herself, her place in the world and her transition toward a multicultural identity. This research sets out to examine how identity is formed by a Muslim subject in a postcolonial Western context and to analyse the issues presented by the author‟s depiction of the novel‟s central character. In this study, Edward Said‟s assertions in Orientalism about the West‟s patronizing and fictional depictions of the „East‟ and Homi K. Bhabha‟s theories of ambivalence, mimicry, „hybridity‟ and „the third space‟ were applied to analyse the identity-making process in Faqir‟s novel. This research began with a detailed study of My Name is Salma, which is the primary text, followed by a study of relevant secondary works in the form of books, journals and internet articles. The study concludes that a Muslim character living in the West will form for themselves a hybrid identity that encompasses both their Muslim heritage and that of the modern, secular culture of the West –like Salma does upon her moving to Britain. As Fadia Faqir is an upcoming author who has written only four novels, I would urge academics to carry out research on My Name is Salma and her other books because she represents the new generation of writers of Middle Eastern origin writing in the West whose works have come to define Middle East literature in the twenty first century.
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