“Fragile Shores: An Exploration of Vulnerability and Identity in The Refugee Experience Through the Lens of Postcolonialism and Displacement Studies in The Select Works of Abdulrazak Gurnah and Caryl Phillips”

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Mr. P. Kavinkumar
Dr. M. Selvam


In the precarious landscape of displacement, refugees are constantly confronted with insecurity, a need for belonging, and the emotional burden of being uprooted. This article explores Abdulrazak Gurnah’s and Caryl Phillips’ complex portraits of migrants in postcolonial literature. By methodically analyzing chosen novels such as Gurnah’s By the Sea and Desertion, as well as Phillips’ Crossing the River and Higher Ground, the study investigates the various vulnerabilities that constitute the refugee experience. Gurnah’s evocative narratives, rooted in the colonial past, reveal the fears and precarious lives of immigrants faced with a new world. C Caryl Phillips, on the other hand, takes a larger approach, weaving together the stories of persons from many backgrounds to reveal the universality of displacement while also acknowledging its various forms. By examining how the writers use literary strategies to create empathy and understanding for their characters, the paper provides light on the emotional anguish, ongoing negotiation of identity, and need for belonging that define the refugee experience. It contends that the narratives not only illuminate the continued struggle of refugees, but also forces readers to realize their humanity and address the complexity of displacement in the modern society.

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