Resisting the Elitist Narrative: Representation of the Subalterns in Pakistani Novel in English


  • Syed Hanif Rasool Assistant Professor of English, Khushal Khan Khattak University, Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  • Jahangir Khan PhD Scholar National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad
  • Kifayatullah Assistant Professor, Department of English University of Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa


Pakistani Novel in English (PNE), elitist narrative, subaltern representation, Subaltern Studies Collective.


This paper hypothesizes that both the colonialist and state historiographies of South Asian societies have tended to foreground the issues of the elites and have marginalised those of the subalterns. South Asian post-colonial fiction on the contrary rehierarchizes this centre-margin order by giving a central place to the lives of the laymen. In line with the South Asian fiction in general, Pakistani novel in English (henceforth called PNE) has largely been marked by an attempt to rewrite the official elitist discourse. The paper contends that PNE since partition has displayed a strong tendency to subvert the elitist discourse by representing and centralizing an alternative discourse from the viewpoint of the subalterns. Surveying how and to what extent the select Pakistani novels in English attempt to rewrite Pakistan’s official elitist narrative, the paper explores that through their representations of the Pakistani marginalised classes (women, children, minorities, working class, and peasantry etc.), PNE is regarded as progressive and revolutionary

        Keywords: Pakistani Novel in English (PNE), elitist narrative, subaltern representation, colonialist and state historiographies,