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  • Diasporic Divides: Location and Orientations of “Home” in Pooneh Rohi’s Araben

    Helena Wulff

    Chapter from the book: Helgesson, S et al. 2018. World Literatures: Exploring the Cosmopolitan-Vernacular Exchange.


    This article draws on a literary anthropological project that explores the social world of a new generation of diaspora novelists, playwrights, and journalists in Sweden. It reveals their experiences of racism in a country that boasts an ethnically inclusive policy and identifies instances of literary cosmopolitanism from within. Pooneh Rohi’s novel The Arab (2013) circles around the idea of homelessness and the designation ‘stranger’. As the protagonist leads his lonely life in snow-covered Stockholm where he moved decades ago from Iran, we come to understand that the ‘The Arab’ is actually Persian, but is taken to be an Arab in the Swedish context, highlighting his dislocation and feelings of homelessness. A young woman in the novel is also from Iran, but she is so well integrated that people think she was adopted. Yet, although her childhood memories from Iran are now a fading mirage of the past – compared in the novel to a fading scent of salt from the sea – her longing for that past, for “that part of the room that is invisible in the mirror”, intensifies in the novel. This chapter will focus on the ways in which home is, thereby, a deeply divided location in the novel.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Wulff, H. 2018. Diasporic Divides: Location and Orientations of “Home” in Pooneh Rohi’s Araben. In: Helgesson, S et al (eds.), World Literatures. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bat.k

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Additional Information

    Published on Nov. 22, 2018


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