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Vol.7, Issue 1, 2021, pp. 51-68 Full text

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Web of Science: 000658797400005

Jameel Alghaberi
Sanjay Mukherjee

Affiliation: Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, Saurashtra University, Rajkot, India

Contributor roles
Conceptualization J.A. (lead); Textual analysis J.A. (lead); Supervision, Validation, Methodological Appropriation S.M. (lead); Formal Analysis; Critical Evaluation J.A., S.M. (equal); Writing – original draft J.A. (lead); Writing - review and editing, S.M. (lead).

This article explores the assimilation politics in Mira Jacob's novel The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing (2013). The intersection of memory, trauma, and mourning with reference to immigrant experience is discussed. In terms of assimilation, Barkan's six stage model is critiqued, and diasporic 'hybridity' is proposed as an alternative to the notion of total assimilation. In the analysis of traumatic experience, the paper makes reference to Caruth's formulations of the 'abreactive model'. The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing is a transcultural text that represents the gap that truly exists between the first-generation immigrants and their offspring. It is a typical trauma novel featuring timeless and unspeakable experiences. The novel does not present a postcolonial collective trauma but invariably an example of diasporic imagined trauma. By presenting two contrasting generations in her novel, Mira Jacob attempts to highlight the dilemmas that baffle diasporas in the United States particularly of those that resist assimilation. Much of the narrative projects the haunting presence of home, and the anguish of personal loss experienced by first generation immigrants. Moreover, the novel questions the nostalgic and romantic engagements with the past and it promotes a bold affirmation of the culture of the adopted land. In other words, Mira Jacob calls for more genuine engagements with the new culture that the second and the third-generation immigrants are more exposed to than their home culture because their in-between status leaves them with no choice.

Keywords: assimilation, memory, identity, trauma, diasporic experience

Article history:
Submitted: 15 February 2021
Reviewed: 05 April 2021
Revised: 18 April 2021
[Accepted}2021-04-18|22 May 2021]
Published: 1 June 2021

Citation (APA):
Alghaberi, J., & Mukherjee, S. (2021). Identity and Diasporic Trauma in Mira Jacob's "The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing". English Studies at NBU, 7(1), 51-68.

Copyright © 2021 Jameel Alghaberi and Sanjay Mukherjee

This open access article is published and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. If you want to use the work commercially, you must first get the authors' permission.

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1. Reviewer's name: Undisclosed
Review Content: Undisclosed
Review Verified on Publons

2. Reviewer's name: Tadd Graham Fernée, PhD, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria
Review Content: Undisclosed
Review Verified on Publons

Handling Editor: Stan Bogdanov
Verified Editor Record on Publons

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