Anxious Asian men: ‘Coming out’ into neo-liberal masculinity

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The last decade-and-a-half has seen the emergence of a series of novels and memoirs exploring the fraught identities of British Asian men. This article situates the emergence of these texts in the context of interest in South Asian masculinity, and suggests ways in which these texts intervene in larger conversations, in particular regarding the War on Terror, which theorists such as Jasbir Puar have identified as imbricated in the LGBT rights paradigm. It offers readings of two memoirs, showing their reliance on the metaphor of the closet, to suggest that this use of “coming out” as a structuring device produces and is produced by a retrenchment of conservative ideas about South Asian family structures, arranged marriages, and “tradition”. Finally, it reflects on the significance of this argument at a time in which the neocolonial structures of the global War on Terror are becoming increasingly virulent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-396
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Issue number3
Early online date8 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • British Asian
  • Sarfraz Manzoor
  • Sathnam Sanghera
  • War on Terror
  • homonormativity
  • masculinity
  • sexuality

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