Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  280 / 138 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 280 / 138 Next Page
Page Background






perspectives, it is critical as well. In her most recent novel,

A God in

Every Ston

e, Shamsie takes a step further to develop a critical

cosmopolitanism that is not merely about plurality, but, as Delanty

suggests, it also “concerns the internal transformation of social and

cultural phenomena through self-problematization and pluralization”

(2006: 41). The reflexive process of self-understanding that critical

cosmopolitanism entails arises as a result of “the interplay of self, other

and world” (41).

A God in Every Stone

zeros in on self-transformation,

first and foremost, by reflecting on the question of divided loyalties.

The novel was published in 2014, the year Shamsie gained British

citizenship. It is also the first novel she claims to have written outside

of Karachi (Shamsie, 2015). With its theme of divided loyalties,

A God

in Every Stone

shifts the emphasis of cosmopolitanism from “seeing

globalization as the primary mechanism” to “internal developmental

processes within the social world” (Delanty, 2006: 27). It also

exemplifies how Shamsie transforms her crisis as a migrant who felt

“betrayed and betrayer both” upon receiving British citizenship

(Shamsie, 2014a) into an opportunity to find different ways of

engaging in the political activities and social reforms of Pakistan,

Britain, and the world.


Burnt Shadows

, part of which is set in the post-9/11 world,

A God in Every Stone

is a historical fiction that reimagines the world in

the past. It also differs from

Burnt Shadows

and Shamsie’s earlier

Karachi novels in its focalization. The narrative is presented not only

through the subaltern perspective of the colonized and oppressed but

also through the colonial perspective of the English, as Shamsie

imagines, for the first time in her writing career, an Englishwoman as

her protagonist. Except for the brief opening (515 BC) and ending

(485 BC) about Scylax of the Persian Empire and his circlet, the novel

is divided into two parts and is set largely in London and Peshawar in

the years between the start of WWI and the escalation of the Indian

struggle for independence from the British Raj in 1930. Book I begins

in July 1914 with an Englishwoman, Vivian Rose Spencer, who joins

the Turkish archaeologist, Tahsin Bey, at a dig in Turkey. When WWI