Date of Award

Fall 11-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Primary Advisor

N. Annette Graves

Abstract

There is a largely unexplored trend in recent popular fiction that regards the semi-autobiographical work of authors of an immigrant or refugee background. These works seldom fall into the trap exposed by Said’s Orientalism, but instead present the author’s native country and culture through a lens similar what Salman Rushdie described as “imaginary homelands.” This thesis examines three primary texts that fit that description: The Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseni, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid, and Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye for their inclusion of the Islamic faith and their portrayal of America. The texts are analyzed and recommended based on their ability to combat racial and religious prejudice and ignorance in light of topical news and media portrayals of Muslim peoples.