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Transformations Of The Liminal Self: Configurations Of Home And Identity For Muslim Characters In British Postcolonial Fiction Paperback – August 17, 2011
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I am going to be honest, this book is probably not something I would have picked up on my own, since I really didn't know much about the subject matter before beginning the book. But, I have to say that I am glad that I read and I did really end up learning a lot.
The book's focus is on the complicated and sometimes confusing relationship between Muslim and Western culture for the people who have to live on both sides of the divide. I have never really imagined how difficult things must be for people who are born in one country but have family and history from another.
The book focuses on British post-colonial literature to illustrate the points discussed, and I really found myself thinking a lot of about the lives of immigrants and what a difficult struggle it must be for them to really know the answer to the question: "Where Is Home?" The examples from literature that the book gave were spot on and really gave me a different perspective to think about.
Transformations of the Liminal Self, by author Alaa Alghamdi, focuses on the relationship between where you are from and where your "roots" or family are, and how this dynamic effects who you are.
First, let me give you the definition of "liminal" - because I had no idea what it meant when used in this context:
The threshold of a physiological or psychological response. In-between divides.
Imagine you were born in the U.S. - always speaking English fluently, dressing in Western styles and living the life of a regular Westerner. But, you are Muslim, being raised in a Muslim home - where all traditions are still followed. You graduate from high school and move on to college - your parents move back to their native country that they consider "home". Now, where is your home? Is your home with your parents in another country because that is where your family roots are? Or is your home in the U.S. where you were born and raised?
This is a very timely subject - due to the fact that so many people that can work from anywhere, have access to go to college anywhere, or have the opportunity to move from one country to another to start over. This begins "the divide".
These are interesting questions and I love how the author strives to explain these struggles. I'm very glad I read it!