Surviving the Edges of Periphery: A Postcolonial Feminist critique of Mohammed Hanif’s Our Lady of Alice Bhatti

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Zia Ahmed
Muhammad Saeed Nasir


Pakistani postcolonial narratives have been discussing the oppression of the less privileged sections of people, including minorities, because of the predetermined power structure of society. The level of oppression gets aggravated in its severity and repercussions when the narrative is about a woman from a minority community in Pakistan. Mohammad Hanif’s novel Our Lady of Alice Bhatti highlights the portrayal of a female protagonist who faces life's challenges only because she is a woman from a Christian minority. Her struggle to survive meets utmost resistance from the patriarchal social setup. This problematizes the socio-political situation of women from minority communities and allocates them space for struggle only on the edges of the periphery of social hierarchy in postcolonial states like Pakistan. It necessitates that the text of the novel may be explored to assess the status of doubly colonized oppressed women of minority communities and the consequent resistance put up by them. The study employs a postcolonial lens to examine the life of such women and to determine the extent of consequent oppression and suffering as portrayed by Hanif in his novel. The study finds out that women of minority status in postcolonial states like Pakistan are mostly oppressed and are seldom included in the regular stream of life.


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How to Cite
Ahmed, Z. ., & Nasir, M. S. (2022). Surviving the Edges of Periphery: A Postcolonial Feminist critique of Mohammed Hanif’s Our Lady of Alice Bhatti. NUML Journal of Critical Inquiry, 20(II).
Author Biographies

Zia Ahmed, Emerson University Multan

Dr. Zia Ahmed has been a Professor of English at Emerson University, Multan, Pakistan. He regularly contributes articles to the print media as a freelance writer and runs a Video blog as a YouTube channel with hundreds of video lectures in his field. After his Ph.D. in 2012, he has supervised 50 Mphil and Two Ph.D. candidates and published 29 articles. He is a subject expert for many Journals and universities in Pakistan and abroad. He teaches, gives expert advice and writes on postcolonial and postmodern fiction. He visited the University of North Texas in 2015 for postdoctoral research. He has spoken nationally and internationally in the University of Oman,  IIU, Malaysia, La Rochelle, France, and Khadar, Azerbaijan conferences. 

Muhammad Saeed Nasir, Emerson University, Multan

Dr Muhammad Saeed Nasir is working as a lecturer in English at Emerson University Multan, Pakistan.
Before this, he worked as an affiliated Post-Doctoral research fellow at the University of
Aberdeen, UK. His postdoctoral project explores the possibilities of reading the literary works of selected
South Asian Sufis by juxtaposing them with Beckett’s bold engagement with the idea of God.
His PhD thesis, entitled Beckett and the Muslim World, had similar concerns, albeit with
a slightly different angle as it was more focused on the reception, perception, and response to
Beckett’s works with special reference to the overtly religious context of Pakistan.
He is consistently contributing to Beckett Studies at national and international levels.
Recently, his chapter ‘Domesticating Beckett: The Religious and Political Complexity of
Pakistan and Waiting for Godot’ appeared in an edited volume, Translating Samuel Beckett
Around the World, one essay was published in Samuel Beckett Today/
Aujourd’hui's special issue on Sex & Gender in the works of Beckett. Many of his articles,
on the subject of Beckett’s translations and adaptations, have been published in Pakistani
He has also translated Waiting for Godot into Urdu; it will be published later in 2023.