Of Homelands and Crossings: Middle-Eastern Diasporic Identities in Brazilian Contemporary Fiction

  • Kamila Krakowska Rodrigues Universiteit Leiden
Keywords: Home, Middle Eastern diasporas, Brazilian literature, transnationalism, return


There is a trend in contemporary Brazilian literature to illustrate in a novel way the transnational matrix of identity and belonging which characterizes Brazilian society, as it was formed in waves of free and forced migration and displacement. To address the struggles over identity formation in/as diaspora, this paper close reads three contemporary novels depicting characters from Middle Eastern diasporas and their actual or imagined returns to the ancestral homeland, namely Dois irmãos by Milton Hatoum, Os Malaquias by Andrea del Fuego, and A chave de casa by Tatiana Salem Levy. By addressing tensions, frictions, incompleteness, or even the impossibility of the travel “back home”, these literary texts invite the reader to question the meaning of ‘home’ within the framework of migration history and to explore different forms of mobility which can be used in the (re)creation of signifying places.