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Post-colonial literature (also Postcolonial literature, New English Literature, and New English literatures) is a body of literary writing that responds to the intellectual discourse of European colonization of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Post-colonial literature addresses the problems and consequences of the de-colonization of a country and of a nation, especially the political and cultural independence of formerly subjugated colonial peoples; and it also is a literary critique of and about post-colonial literature, the undertones of which carry, communicate, and justify racialism and colonialism. The contemporary forms of post-colonial literature present literary and intellectual critiques of the post-colonial discourse, by endeavouring to assimilate post-colonialism and its literary expressions.
Critical approach 
Post-colonial literary criticism re-examines colonial literature, especially concentrating upon the social discourse, between the colonizer and the colonized, that shaped and produced the literature. In Orientalism (1978), Edward Saïd analyzed the fiction of Honoré de Balzac, Charles Baudelaire, and Lautréamont (Isidore-Lucien Ducasse), and explored how they were influenced, and how they helped to shape the societal fantasy of European racial superiority. Post-colonial fiction writers deal with the traditional colonial discourse, either by modifying or by subverting it, or both.
An exemplar post-colonial novel is Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), by Jean Rhys, a predecessor story to Jane Eyre (1847), by Charlotte Brontë, a literary variety wherein a familiar story is re-told from the perspective of a subaltern protagonist, Antoinette Cosway, who, within the story and the plot, is a socially oppressed minor character who is renamed and variously exploited. As such, in post-colonial literature, the protagonist usually struggles with questions of Identity — social identity, cultural identity, national identity, etc. — usually caused by experiencing the psychological conflicts inherent to cultural assimilation, to living between the old, native world and the dominant hegemony of the invasive social and cultural institutions of the colonial imperialism of a Mother Country.
The “anti-conquest narrative” recasts the natives (indigenous inhabitants) of colonized countries as victims rather than foes of the colonisers. This depicts the colonised people in a more human light but risks absolving colonisers of responsibility for addressing the impacts of colonisation by assuming that native inhabitants were "doomed" to their fate.
This section needs to be expanded with JM Coetzee, Maryse Condé, Cyril Dabydeen, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Raywat Deonandan, Max Davine, Buchi Emecheta, Athol Fugard, Nadine Gordimer, Alamgir Hashmi, Bonny Hicks, Hanif Kureishi, Doris Lessing, Earl Lovelace, Gabriel García Márquez, Bharati Mukherjee, Barbara Kingsolver, VS Naipaul, Michael Ondaatje, RK Narayan, Mahashweta Devi, EM Forster, Anita Desai, Bapsi Sidhwa, Wilbur Smith, Wole Soyinka, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Yvonne Vera, Derek Walcott, Kath Walker, Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh, Haim Sabato, Eleanor Dark, Bole Butake, Anne Tanyi-Tang, Bate Besong, Maxine Hong Kingston. Marcus Garvey, Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Léon Damas, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kaiser Haq.
Léopold Senghor conceived the idea of négritude, Homi K Bhabha, Hampaté Bâ, Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart (1958) made a significant mark in African literature. Ayi Kwei Armah in Two Thousand Seasons tried to establish an African perspective to their own history. In Britain, J. G. Farrell's novels Troubles, The Siege of Krishnapur and The Singapore Grip, written during the 1970s, are important texts dealing with the collapse of the British Empire. Season of Migration to the North by Tayib Salih.
The Americas 
Isabel Allende from Chile contributes to Latin-American literature and occasionally writes in a style called magical realism or vivid story-telling, also used by Gabriel García Márquez, Juan Rulfo and Salman Rushdie. Poet and novelist Giannina Braschi from Puerto Rico directly addresses the colonial situation of Puerto Rico in "United States of Banana".
The author Jean Rhys made a significant contribution to postcolonial literature in her novel Wide Sargasso Sea, which describes a Creole woman whose British husband mistreats her based on his perceptions of her cultural heritage.
The Middle East 
Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt) novelist, Edward Said eminent scholar on Orientalism (Palestine) Because of Said's work the term Orientalism becomes more and more negatively connotated. Especially, as it is dismantled as a series of misconceptions about the region commonly referred to as the 'Orient'. 'The Orient' is constructed as the inferior shadow to the civilized and powerful West, the Occident. Its supposed inferiority is always explained in racial terms. This section needs to be expanded
Postcolonial writings have been found among much of Indian literature. Meena Alexander is probably best known for lyrical memoirs that deal sensitively with struggles of women and disenfranchised groups. Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie has also contributed to the post-colonial literature. His second novel, Midnight's Children (1981) won the Booker Prize in 1981.
Sri Lankan writers like Nihal De Silva or Carl Muller write about the post-colonial situation and the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, while Michael Ondaatje, international the most acclaimed author with Sri Lankan roots, adds the perspective of the diaspora.
Pakistani authors like Ahmed Ali, Zulfikar Ghose, Bapsi Sidhwa, M. Athar Tahir, Mohsin Hamid and Kamila Shamsie are considered to have contributed to postcolonial literature. Apart from fiction writers, at least some Pakistani poets have also been discussed by the critics to be important in this context.
Though written by American author David Henry Hwang, M. Butterfly is one postcolonial work regarding the Western perception of the East in general, but specifically addresses the Western perspective on China and the French and American perspectives on Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Dutch Indies literature includes Dutch language postcolonial literature reflecting on the era of the Dutch East Indies (now: Indonesia). Much of the postcolonial literature of this genre is written by Dutch Eurasians known as Indos. Important authors that have been translated to English include: Tjalie Robinson, Maria Dermout and Marion Bloem.
Perspectives on colonialism and Postcolonialism 
Common perspectives on colonialism show colonialism usually works through the use of brutal force employed by one country to exploit another community and obtain economic wealth through abuse of native people.
The post-colonial perspective emerged as a challenge to this tradition and legacy; it attempts to illegitimize the idea of establishing power through conquest. A relatively new emerging academic concept in relation to postcolonial studies is the Stranger King concept.
Selim Al Deen from Bangladesh has also written postcolonial drama.
Critic's point of view 
What qualifies as postcolonial literature is debatable. The term postcolonial literature has taken on many meanings. The four subjects include:
- Social and cultural change or erosion: It seems that after independence is achieved, one main question arises; what is the new cultural identity?
- Misuse of power and exploitation: Even though the large power ceases to control them as a colony, the settlers still seem to continue imposing power over the native. The main question here is who really is in power, why, and how does an independence day really mean independence?
- Colonial abandonment and alienation: This topic is generally brought up to examine individuals and not the ex-colony as a whole. The individuals tend to ask themselves; in this new country, where do I fit in and how do I make a living?
- Use of English language literature: It may be asked if the target of post-colonial studies, i.e. the analysis of post-colonial literature and culture, can be reached neglecting literary works in the original languages of post-colonial nations.
Postcolonial literary critics 
Edward Said is often considered to have been the seminal postcolonial critic. Other useful critics are Bill Ashcroft, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Alamgir Hashmi, Homi K. Bhabha, Frantz Fanon, Chinua Achebe Leela Gandhi, Gareth Griffiths, Abiola Irele, John McLeod, Gayatri Spivak, Hamid Dabashi, Helen Tiffin, Khal Torabully, and Robert Young
See also 
- Colonial cinema
- TSAR Publications
- Indian English literature
- Francophone literature
- Vernacular literature
- Migrant literature
- Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry
- Postcolonial Theory and the Arab-Israeli Conflict
- Hart & Goldie 1993, p. 155.
- Revie, Linda L. (2003). The Niagara Companion: Explorers, Artists and Writers at the Falls, from Discovery through the Twentieth Century. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-88920-433-0.
- "The Postcolonial Pakistani Novel", Alamgir Hashmi Weekend Post (Lahore: 22 December 1989), p.3.
- Mansour, Wisam. "Post-colonialism", Lecture 5, April 14, 2008. Accessed April 14, 2008.
Further reading 
- Tobias Döring, Postcolonial Literatures in English: An Introduction, 2008.
- Prem Poddar and David Johnson, A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literature in English, 2005.
- Alamgir Hashmi, The Commonwealth, Comparative Literature and the World, 1988.
- John Thieme, The Arnold Anthology of Post-Colonial Literatures in English
- Chelsea 46: World Literature in English (1987)
- Poetry International 7/8 (2003–2004)
- Eugene Benson and L. W. Conolly (eds.), Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English, 1994, 2005.
- John McLeod, Beginning Postcolonialism, second edition (MUP, 2010).
- Alamgir Hashmi, Commonwealth Literature: An Essay Towards the Re-definition of a Popular/Counter Culture, 1983.
- Elleke Boehmer, Colonial and Postcolonial Literature: Migrant Metaphors
- Britta Olinde, A Sense of Place: Essays in Post-Colonial Literatures
- Peter Thompson, Littérature moderne du monde francophone. Chicago: NTC (McGraw-Hill), 1997
- Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture', Routledge 1994, ISBN 0-415-05406-0
- Postcolonial Theory and the Arab-Israeli Conflict edited by Philip Carl Salzman and Donna Robinson Divine, Routledge (2008)