In his article “Returning to East Africa via India,” Shizen Ozawa examines how M. G. Vassanji further develops his diasporic aesthetics in his latest travel book/ memoir And Home Was Kariakoo: A Memoir of East Africa (2014) from two perspectives. First, the essay explores some possible influences of his earlier travelogue A Place Within: Rediscovering India (2008). It seems partly because of his deepening relationship with his land of ancestral origin that in And, Vassanji emphasizes the cross-continental connections between East Africa and India more strongly than in his earlier works. Especially, he characterizes the very presence of Asian Africans as testimony to the enduring relationship between the two regions in spite of the post-colonial turbulence they had gone through. Second, my article examines how Vassanji at the same time affirms his “African” identity. Describing East Africa as a place to return to, he foregrounds his strong attachment to it. Moreover, he highlights the emergence of a racially inclusive society in which Asian Africans can feel a genuine sense of belonging. By doing so, Vassanji widens the corpus of an Asian African literature and at the same time brings a new phase in his own diasporic writing.
"Returning to East Africa via India: On M. G. Vassanji’s And Home Was Kariakoo."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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