"A selective embrace": singling out all our names in Obama’s End times

Masterson, John (2017) "A selective embrace": singling out all our names in Obama’s End times. In: Stubbs, Tara and Haynes, Doug (eds.) Navigating the transnational in modern American literature and culture. Transnational Perspectives on American Literature . Routledge, London, pp. 232-251. ISBN 9781138903890

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Abstract

In his commendation of Appiah's Cosmopolitanism, the former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan hailed it as "an important book about the great human project of trying to live together". Aliki Varvogli provides an enabling sketch of Dinaw Mengestu in relation to How to Read the Air, the novel that precedes All Our Names. While imbued with the kind of utopianism of Obama's singular stories / shared destinies statement, Varvogli's emphasis on literature as an oft-prickly negotiator is particularly apt when it comes to Mengestu's novel. Giles Foden's Guardian review of All Our Names provides a useful plot synopsis: The narrator of the African sections is an Ethiopian who has travelled down to Uganda through Kenya. The moment of racial tension in the diner can be read as a variation on the suitably Fanonian theme of visibility and invisibility that runs throughout the novel. Jarrett's caveat-heavy emphasis on embracing a concept recalls Varvogli's notion of America as paradigm rather than place.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania > PL8000 African languages and literature
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR9080 English literature outside of Great Britain. Including present and former British colonies and dependencies except the United States
P Language and Literature > PS American literature > PS0185 By period > PS0229 21st century
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Depositing User: John Masterson
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2015 13:29
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2020 14:29
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/56503
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