by Suhayl Saadi

SuhaylIn the early 1990s, when I began to write fiction, charting the confluence between realism and mysticism, I’d been reading widely for a number of years and had joined a writers’ group, but apart from occasional performances in bars and arts centres, I’d had no connection with published writers or the wider arts world.

The furore attending the publication, in 1988, of Salman Rushdie’s novel, ‘The Satanic Verses’ had more to do with metahistory, geopolitics and the social class demographics of migration into Britain than it did with either theology or fiction, while the only other visible ‘British Asian’ writer in the UK was the talented realist writer, Hanif Kureishi. Culturally illiterate, all-white commissioning editors in London seemed hungry for more Rushdie, for subaltern neo-Orientalism and the textual affirmation of colonial dominance.