Postcolonial Jane: Pride And Prejudice And Pakistan
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When Jane Austen penned the famous first lines of Pride and Prejudice, “it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife”, it’s hard to believe she could have predicted just how universal those words would prove. In the course of my research on Jane Austen in the modern era, I was introduced a group of Pakistani women, who in 2014, formed the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan. Since its inception, the group has grown from a small sample of bibliophiles from Islamabad to an international, philanthropic community of Austenites nearly 3,000 strong. In addition to their charitable efforts, seven of the members recently co-authored a collection of short stories called Austenistan, which reimagines Jane Austen’s heroines as modern-day Pakistani women. The bulk of my research for this project focuses on contextualizing Austenistan within Jane Austen’s core texts and surveying the role of imperialism in enabling such a project.