Postcolonial Recycling of the Oriental Gothic: Habiby's Saraya, The Ghoul's Daughter and Mukherjee's Jasmine
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This article examines Emile Habiby's Saraya, The Ghoul's Daughter (1991) and Bharati Mukherjee's Jasmine (1989) as two postcolonial novels seeking to rewrite the history of Palestinian and Indian diaspora according to their respective myths of Oriental vampires. Habiby's recycling of the Palestinian folktale of the ghoul and Mukherjee's recuperation of the Hindu myth of Lord Shiva aim to spotlight the classical vampiric topoi of otherness, unspeakableness, foreignness, and border existences in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Postcolonial Gothic writing is thus shown to foreground gender, nationality, and ethnicity as sites of both power conflict and cultural exchange. Adopting a counter-Orientalist approach, the study sheds light on the different strategies these two postcolonial texts employ to deconstruct the demonic and ghostly constructions of Arabs and Indians.