The Voice of the Silenced in Salman Rushdie’s Shame, Caryl Phillips’s Foreigners: Three English Lives, and Colum McCann’s

Rosli Talif, Manimangai Mani, Ida Baizura Bahar, Intisar Mohammed Wagaa


This article examines the implications of history in Salman Rushdie’s Shame (1983), Caryl Phillips’s Foreigners: Three English Lives (2007), and Colum McCann’s TransAtlantic (2013). History plays an important role in discriminating and distinguishing the proper characteristics of certain nations and people of a specific historical era. The purpose of the current paper is to scrutinize the historical components in the selected novels. These novels incarnate the authors’ visions of the silenced minorities depicted in the fictional plots. They embody the sense of individual sufferings at the time of human devastation and retardation caused by historical events. In essence, my study focuses on the authors’ abstract voices which are uttered through the fictional characters’ dialogic voices. That is, the authors portray the neglected and suppressed voices which need alleviation and freedom. Thus, the authors do not tend to express their authorial voices directly in the novels. Instead, they convey their literary meanings through the characters’ voices. Thus, my analysis will focus on both the authors’ implied voices and their manifestation in the characters’ direct fictional voices. The methodological analysis of the study will concentrate on the way by which the authors present the peculiarities of their fictional characters and discourses. 


Dialogic Novel, History, Marginalization, Setting, Silenced Voices

Full Text:



Kundera, M. (1986). The art of the novel. London: Cox & Wyman Ltd.

Leech, G., and Mick, SH. (1981). Style in fiction: a linguistic introduction to English fictional prose. London: Longman.

Leitch, V.B. (2001). The Norton anthology of theory and criticism. New York: Norton.

Mackay, M. (2011). The Cambridge introduction to the novel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

McCann, C. (2013). TransAtlantic: a novel. New York: Random House.

Nas, L. (2007). Boundary crossings: John Barth’s renewed love affair with the short story. Journal of Literary Studies, 23(2), 166-178.

Norrick, N. (2010). Conversational narrative: storytelling in everyday talk. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins Publication.

O’Donnell, K. (2003). Postmodernism. Oxford: Lion.

O’Neill, P. (1994). Fictions of discourse: reading narrative theory. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Parker, J.A. (2007). Narrative form and chaos theory in Sterne, Proust, Woolf, and Faulkner. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Phillips, C. (2007). Foreigners: three English lives. London: Harvill Secker.

Punday, D. (2003). Narrative after deconstruction. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Rivkin, J., and Michael, R. (2004). Literary theory: an anthology. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publication.

Rogers, J., Hermione, L., Mike, H., and Douglas, H. (2001). Good fiction guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rushdie, S. (1983). Shame. New York: Knopf.

Shostar, D. (1995). Plot as Repetition: John Irving’s Narrative Experiments. Fall, 37(1), 51-70.

Toolan, M. (1988). Narrative: a critical linguistic introduction. London: Routledge.

Tracy, D. (1994). On naming the present: reflections on God, hermeneutics, and church. Maryknoll, N.Y: Orbis Books.

Vattimo, G. (1991). The End of (Hi)story. In Ingeborg Hoesterey (Ed.), Zeitgeist in Babel (pp. 132-141). Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.