Vol 14 No 1 (2023)

Selves Fall Apart: Existential Meditations in Cheikh Hamidou Kane’s Ambiguous Adventure and M.G. Vassanji’s No New Land

Andrew Urie
York University
Published January 15, 2023


This article engages in a comparative examination of Cheikh Hamidou Kane’s novel Ambiguous Adventure (1961) and M.G. Vassanji’s novel No New Land (1991), which each richly delineate the journey of a conflicted protagonist whose conception of selfhood is decimated as a result of his dispersal from Africa to the West. As I demonstrate, the two texts ultimately reveal themselves to be acute existential meditations that suggest that “selves” can in fact fall apart due to the inherent trauma of diasporic dispersal.  

Keywords: Africa; Cheikh Hamidou Kane; M.G. Vassanji; Ambiguous Adventure; No New Land; Existentialism