Enigma of Colonial Amnesia and the Trauma of the Past in Fatimah Asghar’s Finding the Hammam


  • farheen Shakir National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad
  • Dr. Inayat Ullah National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamabad


Trauma studies in the literature is an area of the main focus in twenty-first century, in the wake of postcolonial memories and the imperial projects of the Western world. The atrocities of the past events create the gap in the memory and cause the trauma. The current study endeavours to trace the trauma of the memory in the main character of Fatimah Asghar’s prose work Finding the Hammam. The comic representation of the realistic event happening in her autobiographical work describes the trauma she faces as the memory of her colonial and postcolonial pasts that haunt her present. Asghar describes the pain she feels when she recalls her old days in the postcolonial world. The current paper deals with the enigmatic representation of the dilemma, in Asghar’s works, of the amnesia of the colonial memory and the trauma created by the same past. For the current study, the theoretical support of Cathy Caruth’s concepts related to Trauma in her book Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History (1996) and Leela Gandhi’s Postcolonial Theory (1998) have been selected to analyse the sample prose work. The study explores the colonial past as the main traumatic base that creates the postcolonial design and later creates the traumatic memory for Fatimah Asghar. For the current study, the method of reading autobiography proposed by Sedonie Smith has been used in which she considers finding the genuine status of the memory by focusing on the agency, memory, experience, and personal traumatic events in her methodology of dealing with the memoir and autobiography. While, Asghar blames the postcolonial world as the cause of her trauma which is her amnesia of the colonial past in reality.

Keywords: Fatimah Asghar, Finding the Hammam, Postcolonial Memory, Trauma