Identity and Multiculturalism in Zadie Smith’s The Autograph Man

Document Type : Research Paper


دانشگاه تهران


This article focuses on Zadie Smith’s The Autograph Manin an
attempt to see whether Smith is for the multiculturalist discourse or
criticizes it. To this end, two major themes of “identity” and “space” are
examined. It is argued that Smith offers a counter-narrative to oppose rather
than support multiculturalism. In fact, what is known as multiculturalist
aspects of Smith’s work is just a mere reflection of the hybrid, postmodern
world. By foregrounding the role of capital, race, religion, and gender, Smith
tries to unmask the very policy this discursive practice tries to hide. She
attempts to expose multiculturalism as a kind of “micro-colonialism” or a new
version of capitalist imperialism by casting light on contradictions inherent
in it. However, this is complicated by the fact that Smith herself is by and
large under the impact of liberal humanism which has affected multiculturalism
in different ways.