ON THE ROAD TO BAGHDAD, or TRAVELING BICULTURALISM: Theorizing a Bicultural Approach to Contemporary World Fiction

Gönul Pultar, ed.
New Academia Publishing, 2005
322 Pages
ISBN 0-9767042-1-8 Paperback

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About the Author

Gönül Pultar is the founding president of the Cultural Studies Association of Turkey. She has taught at Bilkent, Boğaziçi and Middle East Technical universities, and was a research fellow at Harvard University. Her published works include Technique and Tradition in Beckett’s Trilogy of Novels (1996), various edited books, articles, and two novels. The founding editor of Journal of American Studies of Turkey, Pultar is currently an Editorial Advisory Board member of Journal of Popular Culture.

About the book

This is a collection of essays on fiction written in English, Spanish, and Bengali that has emerged recently. This fiction is seen to reflect biculturalism, that is the amalgam of two cultures that are both hegemonic in their own ways. This approach provides insight into the works discussed by uncovering elements of the seemingly “other,” non-Euroculture, and elevates both cultures to the same level. Authors discussed in the essays include: Black British Caryl Phillips, Chicana Sandra Cisneros, Chinese American Maxine Hong Kingston, Cuban American Dolores Prida, Danish Izak Dinesen, Greek Americans Nikos Papandreou and Catherine Temma Davidson, Kenyan Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Japanese American John Okada, New Zealander Patricia Grace, Peruvian José Maria Arguedas, Turkish American Güneli Gün, and contemporary English-language Indian authors Vikram Chandra, Chitra B. Divakaruni, Attia Hosain, Manju Kapur, Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, as well as Rabindranath Tagore.


“Perhaps only a decade ago, such an ambitious, world-spanning project would have seemed absurd outside a congress of anthropologists or bankers. Today, it represents a state-of-the-art sensibility reflecting the efforts of an equally various geocultural assembly of scholars. The implications for a community of readers not only interested in but competently sensitive to such far-flung narrative geographies is equally stunning.”
– William Boelhower, University of Padua. Italy. Author of Through a Glass Darkly, Ethnic Semiosis in American Literature.