There has been an increasing interaction between ideas and cultures that cross boundaries and nations. It has included the area of contemporary literature that is available across a transnational field. This type of literature has developed as a consequence of the transfer of information and ideas within different peoples. Borders in literature have no crossings as reflected in traditions, so new literary works have been formed. Transnational literature is normally based on the nation state it originated from, and transnational literature should not be confused with cosmopolitanism, globalization and internationalization. Basically, transnational literature spans border and blurs the lines.

Great Transnational Literature

For those people who wonder where they belong or perhaps have left their home countries, returned home and then question why it is not the same, the transnational literature definitely offers some answers and help. Perhaps these four books will help you to understand transnational literature better: No Longer at Ease by Chinua Achebe, A Movable Feast written by Ernest Hemingway, Sara Suleri’s Meatless Days: A Memoir, and The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka.

No Longer at Ease

No Longer at Ease is a novel written about a student who leaves his native Nigeria and goes to study in Britain.  And as the title suggests, the whole scenario leaves him no longer at ease. The story expands upon the upheaval of moving to a different country and trying to settle in to a new culture. The tale delves into the difficulties of returning to Nigeria and an inherent feeling that the student feels which is somewhat changed to when he left.

A Moveable Feast

This book is basically a collection of Ernest Hemingway’s journals that he wrote in the 1920s. Hemingway is considered by many people as an American writer although a lot of his work was written outside of his homeland and about other countries. You can see this by the location of this book as it is set in Paris, and it is a reflection of the life he spent with his first wife. It leaves the reader with a profound sense that he yearns for this time, when he was young and in love with a person he was happy with.

Meatless Days

Meatless Days takes us back to the days immediately after the independence of Pakistan. It expands on the hardships when food was in short supply and what it was growing up at such a time. It is very much a story of a fledgling country as it tried to stand on its own two feet and be accepted by the rest of the world.

The Buddha in the Attic

A factual representation of the mass migration of the Japanese Picture Brides that was a precursor to WWII. The story is a descriptive narration of a group of women that tells individual tales of why these women left their homes in Japan and what their lives were like in their new location. As you can see by the details of these four books, they all have an overall repeated theme of transnationalism and all that it entails. It is bringing new cultures, places, countries together in a way that crosses borders with the power of literature.