This paper studies the notions of exile, nostalgia, return and nationalism in Nada Awar Jarrar’s novel A Goodland. The protagonist is undergoing a quest for both her personal and national identity. My analysis benefits from various theoretical insights. I refer to Ali Behdan’s concept of minor transnationalism. Behdad declares that “discourse of displacement is split into two schools: writers who ‘have valorized, if not romanticized, the seductive power of geographical displacement’ ” (Lionnet & Shu-mei 225) and others who “focus on the actual experiences of displacement, experiences that often entail a horrendous sense of homelessness, political and economic disenfranchisement, and even physical and psychological abuse” (226). This paper contends that Jarrar in her novel combines both: the valorized and the naturalist representations. Also, I resort to post-colonial theorists, such as Edward Said, Benedict Anderson and Salman Rushdie, and critics who deal with exile and nostalgia mainly, Boym and Spitzer. Last of all, I draw on Cooke’s concept of humanist nationalism and “Beirut Decentrists”. Jarrar, like the Beirut Decentrists, promotes collective consciousness, national identity, and nonviolence.
"Exile, Return and Nationalism in A Goodland,"
Antipodes: Vol. 29
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/antipodes/vol29/iss1/6