A Life in Limbo: The Dichotomy of Allegiances – Trauma, Identity and Transformation in The American Granddaughter


Rabia Khan,Sana Imdad,Waqar Mahmood Khan


This research explores the transformative journey of Zeina, the protagonist of Inaam Kachachi’s novel The American Granddaughter (2010), as she grapples with complexities of trauma, identity, disillusionment and transformation. Set against the backdrop of Iraq war and its aftermath, the novel masterfully captures Zeina’s struggle to reconcile her dual identity and conflicting allegiances. Through a close reading of the novel applying an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on trauma theory, literary analysis and cultural studies, this research examines how Zeina’s traumatic experiences shape her sense of identity and allegiance. By applying Linderman’s theoretical framework of traumatic transformation consisting of courage’s war and perilous education, this study illuminates three stages of Zeina’s transformation: disintegration, reconciliation and reintegration. This research contributes to a complex interplay of trauma, identity and transformation, shedding light on the profound impact of trauma on individual identity and the human experience.