Neo-Orientalism, Terrorism, and “Anticipation of History” in Don DeLillo’s Mao II



The post-9/11 fiction is regarded as one of the indispensable parts of contemporary American literature. Prominent novelists such as Martin Amis, John Updike, and Don DeLillo have directly addressed the 9/11 terrorist events in their fiction. DeLillo’s novels, however, have been of especial interest to the literary circles due to their decades-long preoccupation with the issue of terrorism in its different forms. For instance, Mao II is particularly described to be the historical prescience and anticipation of the 9/11 attacks. In this article, the writers explore the re-inscription of the dominant discourse of neo-Orientalism in Mao II and make a comparison between some of the dominant accounts of the 9/11 event and what is being introduced as terrorism through the framework of Orientalist discourse within the novel. The objective is to expose the roots of the novel’s “anticipations” of the 9/11 and thereby de-mythologize the author’s status as a guru of terrorist novel.