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“Migrant” Writing and the Re-Imagined Community: Discourses of Inclusion/Exclusion

Máiréad Nic Craith

This article examines changing discourses of exclusion/inclusion between writers of a non-German background and those whose families have traditionally lived in Germany. Referring to the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, it critiques discourses of difference used in recent decades to describe “migrant” writers in Germany and evaluates some reactions to their writings by the German reading public. With reference to the concept of print-capitalism, the article explores the “new semantic vistas” opened up by migrant writers and the implications of their writing styles for both linguistic and national boundaries. Drawing on original ethnographic interviews with migrant authors, it queries the relevance of binary logic at the beginning of the twenty-first century and argues for greater recognition of the contribution of these writers to the literary landscape in Germany and beyond.