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E

UR

A

MERICA

Vol. 47, No. 3

(

September 2017

)

,

263-297

©

Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica

http://euramerica.org

Engaging Politically from the Margin

Critical Cosmopolitanism in the Works of

Kamila Shamsie

*



Pei-chen Liao

Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Cheng Kung University

No. 1, University Rd., East District, Tainan 70101, Taiwan

E-mail:

pcliao@mail.ncku.edu.tw

Abstract

This essay explores Pakistani British writer Kamila

Shamsie’s engagement in local and global politics, focusing in

particular on her book-length non-fiction

Offence: The

Muslim Case

(2009) and two recent novels,

Burnt Shadows

(2009) and

A God in Every Stone

(2014), which mark two

significant temporal points in Shamsie’s life: 9/11, and her

acquisition of British citizenship. Bringing to the fore the

impact of international events, immigration, and national

allegiance on Shamsie’s political engagement, I argue that

these three books bear witness to Shamsie’s critical

cosmopolitanism, which is locally rooted, universally diverse,

Received Feburary 15, 2017; accepted June 21, 2017; last revised June 12, 2017

Proofreaders: Hsueh-mei Chen, Alex C. Chang, Kuei-feng Hu

*

This essay is the result of two research projects sponsored by the Ministry of

Science and Technology in Taiwan, grant number MOST 103-2911-I-006-502

and MOST 102-2410-H-006-090-MY3.

Part of this essay was presented at the

international conference “Creative Misreading and Evolving Paradigm” held at

National Cheng Kung University on June 12, 2015. I am indebted to Professor

Hsiu-chuan Lee for her valuable comments at the conference.