Home, Memory, Identity, and History in Contemporary Lebanese-Australian Diaspora Writing: A Study of Jad El Hage’s The Last Migration (2002)



Not much has been said about Arab Australian diaspora literature compared to Arab American or British diaspora literature(s) (Bayeh 66). Jad El Hage’s The Last Migration falls within the framework of Arab -Australian writing. As the title of the novel suggests, movement, geographical displacement, and their experiences thereof, reside at the heart of this narrative. Characters in El Hage’s novel, a contemporary example of diaspora writing, are displaced, and they are always in search of a portable home. The present paper studies Jad El Hage’s The Last Migration, a post-war Anglophone Lebanese novel. It seeks to look at the ways in which Lebanese diaspora constructs imaginary and mobile spaces of home to compensate for the lost physical homeland elsewhere. This paper also unpacks the role of memory in making home away from home. In short, it aims to answer the central question: how does use of memory in diaspora literature (re)write history, and thus combat collective amnesia aimed at mainly by the state after the Lebanese Civil war?


home; migration, diaspora; identity, memory; history.

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