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Video Introduction to Issue 14

New/Naya Pakistan
David Waterman and Paul Veyret


This issue of Angles investigates different aspects pertaining to New or Naya Pakistan, especially in contemporary Pakistani Anglophone literature.

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Video introduction to Angles issue 14 by David Waterman and Paul Veyret


1Hello, my name is David Waterman from La Rochelle University.

2Hello, I’m Paul Veyret from Bordeaux Montaigne University.

3We’re delighted to be the guest editors for the recent special issue of Angles on the theme of Naya Pakistan, Naya meaning New Pakistan. We’re very happy to use this opportunity to have a view of a relatively overlooked topic, especially in French academia: Pakistan.

4The first article in our collection is called “‘Yes I am Joseph Bhatti Choohra’: Reading Joseph Bhatti as a palimpsest” by Mushtaq Bilal. The paper explores how Mohammed Hanif’s novel, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti puts into question the construct of ‘Pak-ness’, that is to say ‘purity’, a concept which is at the heart of the idea of Pakistan and Pakistani identity. Joseph Bhatti, which is one of the main characters in the novel, is an intricate palimpsest of historical, political, social, and cultural transformations.

5The second article, by Maëlle Jeanniard du Dot, is called “‘A hazy world seen through smoke’: Threshold effects in Mohsin Hamid’s Moth Smoke.Maëlle Jeanniard du Dot proposes to analyze Mohsin Hamid’s first novel through the motif of the threshold. The novel tells the story of a crime and its judgement, told through a multiplicity of voices.

6The next paper is entitled “Collective amnesia and generational memory in Kamila Shamsie’s Kartography” by Madhurima Sen — Kartography being one of the several Karachi novels which gave Kamila Shamsie her first claim to fame.

7The next paper, by Daniela Vitolo, “Everything is translatable, nothing is translatable: the migrant as translated / translator in Nadeem Aslam’s Maps for lost lovers” explores translation not just as a linguistic process but also as an existential one for migrants. The task of the translator is to transpose meanings, allowing distant worlds to make sense of each other, and here, in that particular novel, the migrants’ translation implies physical, linguistic and cultural border crossings that generate a process shaping the migrants’ identity. That process is an act of survival both in the sense of living on the margins, and also in the sense of the migrants’ dream for survival.

8And the next paper is on Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist [by] Dr Ajeesh A.K. and Dr S Rukmini [entitled] “An aesthetic and cultural exploration of transnational voices in contemporary Pakistani literature: an exploration of fragmented self and hybrid identity.”

9The last of the academic articles, by Anna Ashraf, is: “The ‘real’ Pakistan in Uzma Aslam Khan’s The Geometry of God.”

10Last but not least is an interview. Indeed, Mohsin Hamid did us the great honour of an interview last year. The interview was done by Zoom. He was in Lahore, we were in France. It’s about an 1.5-hour long interview that we’ve edited at the end of this issue.

11Thank you very much for reading this issue and taking the time to listen to our presentation.

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Electronic reference

David Waterman and Paul Veyret, Video Introduction to Issue 14Angles [Online], 14 | 2022, Online since 01 April 2022, connection on 19 August 2022. URL:; DOI:

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About the authors

David Waterman

David Waterman is Professeur des universités at La Rochelle Université, where he is Co-director of the research team D2iA (Dynamiques, Interactions, Interculturalité Asiatique), Associate Director of the doctoral program Euclide and Director of the Asia Pacific Institute as well as the King Sejong Institute. He is currently working on Pakistani history, culture and literature in English, and his most recent book-length publication, forthcoming with Oxford University Press, is entitled History, Memory, Fiction: New Dimensions in Contemporary Pakistani and Kashmiri Writing. Contact: david.waterman [at]

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Paul Veyret

Paul Veyret is Maître de conférences at Bordeaux Montaigne University, Fellow of ICM (Institut Convergences Migrations), and the Managing Editor (Special Issues) for The Journal of Postcolonial Writing. Contact: Paul.Veyret [at]

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