Topography of Loss: Homeland, History and Memory in Sorayya Khan’s Fiction

Bandana Chakrabarty


The paper explores the interplay of memory and history in the three novels of Sorayya Khan – Noor (2003), Five Queen’s Road (2009) and City of Spies (2015). In each of these novels, the writer explores the violence of history. In the first novel it is the liberation war of Bangladesh, in the second, the partition of India and in the third, it is the international control over Pakistan, in this case, the American presence. Not necessarily concerned with chronological histories she centre-stages individual actions and the causes and effects behind them. Based in the States, Khan is born of a mixed marriage but her fiction is concerned with her paternal legacy. The loss of the “homeland” the process of rehabilitation and the values that hold human beings rooted in the past are all dominant concerns in her fiction.. Individual choices are very often overpowered by political realities.

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