Where Worlds Collide
Pakistani Fiction in the New Millennium
The current generation of Pakistani writers, born after the 1971 war and now writing in the twenty-first century, must navigate between the ancient cultural legacy they have inherited and the relative youth of their country. Their nation, not yet seventy years old, born of independence and partition with the accompanying growing pains and political turmoil, is a nation nevertheless, no longer simply an idea. However important the role of M A Jinnah in carrying the idea of Pakistan forward, Pakistani writers of the new millennium are concerned with questions of identity—what it means to be Pakistani now and may mean in the near future— in very practical terms. How to speak of past trauma without corrupting the present? What is the role for Islam in the governance of such a diverse country? How best to ensure the future of the boys and girls in a proud land which is, paradoxically, both rich and poor? Where Worlds Collide is a survey of several contemporary writers, and their efforts to trace the itinerary of Pakistan into the twenty-first century.
David Waterman is currently Professor at the University of La Rochelle, France, where he is Director of the department of Applied Foreign Languages and a member of the research team of the Centre for Research in International and Atlantic History (CRHIA). He is currently working on Pakistani history, culture and literature in English and has served as the Review Editor for Pakistaniaat.
His published works include Pat Barker and the Mediation of Social Reality (2009), Identity in Doris Lessing’s Space Fiction (2006), Le miroir de la société: La violence institutionnelle chez Anthony Burgess, Doris Lessing et Pat Barker (2003), and Disordered Bodies and Disrupted Borders: Representations of Resistance in Modern British Literature (1999).