Date of Award

August 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Gregory Jay

Committee Members

Daniel McClure, Andrew Kincaid


Adichie, Diaz, Immigrant, Lahiri, Mccann, Post-immigrant


The recognizable motifs of the immigrant tale have been upended, as the traditional

narrative has been adapted to capture the multitude of directions, individuals, nations, and paths

of the twenty-first century migrant. In four chapters, I examine selected works from the authors

Colum McCann, Junot Díaz, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to argue for a new

designation, “post-immigrant literature.” Post-immigrant literature treats critically the themes of

loss, regret, and forced assimilation from perspectives shaped by post-colonial, post-modern and

post-identity politics thinking. Rather than narratives stressing the limitations imposed by

deterministic social forces, post-immigrant texts posit more agency, and anxiety, for their

transnational characters. Post-immigrant literature departs from preceding generations by

proffering possibility, empowering the subject, creating space for more voices, and disrupting

traditional binaries, expectations or assumptions. Ultimately, I argue that the post-immigrant

narrative detangles the strands of immigrant literature and disavows the “single story” so as to

appropriately represent individuality.