New Book on Transnational Literature Explores Balakian, Pamuk, Shafak

The cover of Transnational Culture, Transnational Identity

The cover of Transnational Culture, Transnational Identity

In her new book Transnational Culture, Transnational Identity (I.B. Tauris, 2011), Maria Koundoura, associate professor of literature at Emerson College, breaks new ground in her comparative analysis of Peter Balakian’s Black Dog of Fate, Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul, and Elif Shafak’s novel The Bastard of Istanbul in what appears to be the first scholarly work comparing modern Armenian and Turkish writers.

In her chapter, “The Spaces of Memory in Transnational Culture,” Koundoura explores and theorizes—using theorists Walter Benjamin, Paul de Man, and Frederic Jamieson, among others—the ways Pamuk and Balakian’s memoirs and Shafak’s novel engage history, memory, and loss, and how transnational visions of language and culture inform literature in the new global age of literature. As the book jacket notes, “this book will be invaluable for readers of cultural and post colonial studies, diaspora and globalization studies, and world literature.” Koundoura is also the editor of the journal “Modern Greek Studies” and the author of “The Greek Idea: The Formation of National and Transnational Identities.”

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