‘Wars Don’t End When the Fighting Is Over’: Adib Khan’s Homecoming and the Australian Literature of the Vietnam War

Author(s): 

Geoffrey V. Davis

 

Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia (JEASA), Vol.8 No.2, 2017.

 

Geoffrey V. Davis

‘Wars Don’t End When the Fighting Is Over’: Adib Khan’s Homecoming and the Australian Literature of the Vietnam War

 

Abstract: The Bangladeshi-Australian writer Adib Khan's fourth novel Homecoming (2003) marked a significant change of direction in the author's work. No longer concerned to give fictional representation to the diasporic experience which had preoccupied him since his own migration to Australia in 1973, he now embarked on a work which addresses one of the most controversial issues of his new country's recent history, its involvement in the Vietnam War and the traumatic consequences for those who fought in it. As an Asian-Australian writer engaging with the legacy of the war, Khan offers an alternative view from a new perspective. His novel presents a compelling psychological study of a veteran's struggle to confront his experience and reconstitute his identity. This article seeks to locate the novel within the wider tradition of Australian war literature, to examine Khan's representation of the war and its aftermath for Australians and Vietnamese alike, and to identify the particular contribution this Asian-Australian novelist has to make to central concerns of his adopted country.

 

Keywords: Adib Khan; Homecoming; Asian-Australian writing; Vietnam; war literature

 

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Copyright © Geoffrey V. Davis 2017. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.
 

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