Diasporic Memories, Dissident Memoirist

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Shreerekha Pillai Subramanian


Fawzia Afzal-Khan’s memoir, Lahore with Love: Growing Up with Girlfriends, Pakistani-Style is less a narrative about the self than a biography about others, her dear circle of girlfriends, mostly from her days in school and college in Lahore.  This memoir, divided neatly into five chapters with each chapter devoted to one friend so that the chapters are, in effect, homage and eulogy for the loss of friend and friendship.  This paper explores Afzal-Khan’s memoir in relation to three feminist theoretical positionalities: the psychoanalytical, the postcolonial, and the autobiographical.  The article sweeps across the myths from the story of Lot’s wife to Odysseus’s episode with the Sirens in order to interrogate the manners and methods in which the memoirist disrupts the phallogocentric order of social culture and national struggle.  In many ways, the authorial project here is one of feminography, a feminist historiography that helps to informs the current global moment of political crisis and gender iniquity in contemporary Pakistan, especially as it relates to larger questions of discursive bridges and transnational dialectics in fields of feminist scholarship.  

Article Details

Cluster: Fawzia Afzal-Khan's Lahore with Love
Author Biography

Shreerekha Pillai Subramanian, University of Houston-Clear Lake

Shreerekha Subramanian is Assistant Professor of Humanities at University of Houston –Clear Lake.  Her teaching ranges across the humanities from literature and Women’s Studies to Cross-Cultural Studies.  She is the first recipient of the Marilyn Mieszkuc Professorship in Women’s Studies (2008) at University of Houston-Clear Lake, and she is currently at work on her monograph, Women Writing Violence: Community in the Contemporary Novel from the Americas and South Asia.  She has published articles on South Asian, African-American and Caribbean literature and media and she edited the anthology, Home and the World: South Asia in Transition (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006).