2015 | 1(31/2) | 11-26
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The Rushdie Affair - Politics, Culture and Ethnicity. In Hanif Kureishi's

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The aim of this paper is to show how politics, culture and ethnicity interweave in the context of the Rushdie Affair in both the real‑life dimension of the historical events taking place in the late 1980s, as well as the literary dimension of the novel by Hanif Kureishi entitled The Black Album. The paper briefly outlines the Rushdie Affair as it unfolded in the British public sphere with particular emphasis placed on the process of consolidation of the Muslim identity among the representatives of different ethnic groups in Great Britain in the political and cultural context of the event which is deemed to be defining from the point of view of British Muslims. The author of the paper presents the profile of Hanif Kureishi, to indicate why he is ideally positioned to look critically at both sides of the conflict. The paper analyses the novel itself insofar as it examines the implications of the Rushdie Affair depicted in The Black Album, the reactions of the second‑generation immigrants of Pakistani descent in the face of the controversy, the influence this event exerted on the process of their searching for identity as well as their integration into British society. Two opposing identity options taken up by the protagonists of The Black Album are analysed by the author of the paper.
  • University of Łódź
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