University of Tasmania
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Writing Islamic migration

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posted on 2023-05-27, 09:35 authored by Collins, CM
Fiction component: 'The Price of Two Sparrows'‚Äö- a novel Exegesis: Representations of Islamic Migration in Three Works of Contemporary Fiction: Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup, Michael Mohammed Ahmad's The Tribe and Amy Waldman's The Submission. 'The Price of Two Sparrows' tells the story of a proposed mosque development in a fictional town in the Netherlands. The novel's central characters are first- and second-generation migrants: Heico, an Australian-born ornithologist who relocated to his mother's home country as a pre-adolescent; Eliza, his Jewish-American wife who is not sure if she can make the Netherlands her home; Nada, a recent immigrant from Morocco; and Salema, a Turkish-Dutch architect. When a journalist calls Heico to ask him to comment on a proposed development that borders a bird sanctuary, a battle for control of the block of land purchased for a planned mosque begins. The novel plays out against the backdrop of an uncertain period in the Netherlands when two assassinations occurred within the span of two-and-a- half years, both related to issues surrounding Muslim immigration. 'The Price of Two Sparrows' is a work of literary fiction dealing with issues of religion and secularism, science and religion, and the civil and social consequences of new migration trends in Europe. The exegesis examines three contemporary works of fiction, each dealing with a different phase of migration by people of Islamic faith or background: Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup, Michael Mohammed Ahmad's The Tribe and Amy Waldman's The Submission. Together the three novels give an insight into the multi-generational immigration and integration stories of Islamic individuals and families. The exegesis touches on gender and power in migrant fiction; the use of the second-generation child as a literary device to bridge cultures and articulate social critiques; and representations of the second-generation adult, contending with issues of identity, racism and systemic disadvantage.


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