Literature of Exile: Palestine

Like the Kurds, to be a Palestinian is to grow up in exile, and with exile as a family heritage. During the Nakba, the catastrophe of 1948, "more than half of Palestine's native population, close to 800,000 people had been uprooted, 531 villages had been destroyed, and eleven urban neighborhoods emptied of their inhabitants (from … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Palestine

Literature of Exile: LGBTQ authors

The life of an exile is always complicated, but being an LGBTQ+ refugee can sometimes mean exile from your family and community as well as from your homeland. Today we look at writers from Iran, Somalia, and Pakistan who have confronted the challenge of being a gay refugee. Négar Djavadi flatly states, "I’m not an … Continue reading Literature of Exile: LGBTQ authors

Literature of Exile: The Ashour/Barghouti Family

"Silence said:truth needs no eloquence.After the death of the horseman,the homeward-bound horsesays everythingwithout saying anything." • 'Silence' translated by Radwa Ashour from Midnight and Other Poems, by Mourid Barghouti Although exile is often a family experience it's rare that it produces a family of acclaimed writers. And yet we have the remarkable Ashour/Barghouti family: Mourid … Continue reading Literature of Exile: The Ashour/Barghouti Family

Literature of Exile: The Armenian Genocide

One of the tragedies of the Armenian genocide is that there are still those who deny it happened. Beginning in 1914, the Ottoman authorities in Anatolia deported and killed over a million and a half ethnic Armenians. Although Turkey continues to deny it, the genocide against the Armenians is now generally recognized worldwide. Twenty-nine countries … Continue reading Literature of Exile: The Armenian Genocide

Literature of Exile: Clemantine Wamariya and exile as performance

"This is from your family in Rwanda", Oprah said, handing me a tan envelope. She looked solemn, confident in her purpose. "From your father and your mother and your sisters and your brother". I opened the envelope and pulled out a sheet of blue paper. Then Oprah put her hand on mine to stop me … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Clemantine Wamariya and exile as performance

Literature of Exile: Dina Nayeri

Sometimes all that’s left of value in an exile’s life is his identity. Please stop asking people to rub out their face as tribute. Many refugees express profound thankfulness and love for their adopted homeland, yet they often feel burdened with the obligation to embrace their new country and reject the old completely. Criticism of … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Dina Nayeri

Literature of Exile: Graphic Novels

One of the coolest trends in literature is the proliferation of graphic novels as a format for addressing serious issues. Alison Bechdel, Daniel Clowes, and Chris Ware are just a few author/artists who have demonstrated that graphic novels can be high art and great literature. The most dramatic and influential graphic novel of the late … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Graphic Novels

Literature of Exile: Cuba in the fiction of Cristina Garcia, Ana Menendez, and Achy Obejas

"…where we come from the greatest achievement is to leave.” Arguably one of the richest traditions in exile literature is that of Cuban Americans. Given the strong economic and cultural ties between the two countries before Castro's revolution in 1959, it was hardly surprising that so many Cubans who fled the Communist takeover made the … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Cuba in the fiction of Cristina Garcia, Ana Menendez, and Achy Obejas

Literature of Exile: Tibet

Yesterday, we read about the Rohingya of Myanmar, whose story has only recently become well known outside of the region. A far more familiar story of community exile is that of the Tibetans. 60 years after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, up to 100,000 Tibetan Buddhists live in exile in India, mostly in Dharamsala, … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Tibet

Literature of Exile: The Rohingya #ExileLit

Hello again! Many of the authors we will read about this month were exiled in isolation, for their individual acts of dissent or rebellion. Yet there are stories of entire communities exiled and driven from their homelands. One such expulsion that has captured world attention in recent years is that of the Rohingya. Although they … Continue reading Literature of Exile: The Rohingya #ExileLit