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A Nostalgist’s Map of America

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By Meghna Mudaliar There seems to be an intrinsic relationship between geography and culture in Ali’s A Nostalgist’s Map of America (1991) and Ondaatje’s The English Patient (1992) that suggests that it is only in the landscape of the individual’s memory and experience that culture may be located and validated. Both writers seem to craft subtextualised landscapes through narratologies that begin as explorations of subjective impressions of geographical spaces, and are transformed into decentralised spaces in which unofficial and personal histories are ‘mapped’ through correlations between the psychological and empirical landscapes that represent individual journeys. The idea of cartography is