This review essay reads literary-critical works of what is broadly understood as ‘postcolonial disasters’. It outlines how literary critics in the last decades have drawn upon cultural-geographical and anthropological readings of disasters to develop critical frameworks around how literary writers have used style, form, and aesthetics to represent postcolonial catastrophes. It then offers a detailed review of Pallavi Rastogi’s 2020 monograph, Postcolonial Disasters: Narrating Catastrophe in the Twenty-First Century. Through an engaged and critical reading, the essay attends to Rastogi’s insightful theorizing of the topic of ‘Disaster Unconscious’ and her wide-ranging interrogation of fiction from South Asia and Southern Africa. Her committed exploration of the dialectic of story and event, the review offers, is a fine example of materialist literary criticism indicating the ethical and aesthetic urgency for close and comparative readings of postcolonial literatures of disaster.
"Pallavi Rastogi, Postcolonial Disasters: Narrating Catastrophe in the Twenty-First Century (2020): Review Essay."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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