DIASPORA GOTHIC is a series of short fiction by Hassan Ghanny centered on migration and second-generation immigrant narratives. In a world preoccupied with the stereotype of the aspirational immigrant, DIASPORA GOTHIC begs the question: “What happens to the immigrant dreams which fail?”
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After a volcanic eruption destroys the Caribbean island of Montserrat, one of its residents – a fisherman named Brunton “Bunny” MacWhorter – finds himself in forced exile. A chance meeting with a white tourist and a subsequent tryst on a tropical mountainside gives Bunny the opportunity to emigrate to the United States. Here, he must confront being a minority in American society for the first time.
Indian emigré Bruce Bhattacharjee’s first year at a New England liberal arts college is unremarkable until he comes across Sunny Ramdeen, a dropout with his own opposing narrative of brownness. Connecting a vignette from the 1870s in a former British colony to the present-day college, itself an edifice of empire, the two young men find company in each other in the desolate New Hampshire winter. A bit of cyberstalking brings Sunny’s abusive ex into the picture, and Sunny devises a plan to show him up – perhaps in more ways than one.
Ashwin Arismendi wakes up one day to find out that his paltry inheritance of his immigrant mother’s life insurance policy has run out. He confronts his life on the margins of 2010s Boston through the odd jobs he picks up – donating white blood cells, helping transport donations for Puerto Rican evacuees, and assisting gleaners at the farmer’s market where he works. With the money quickly depleting, he turns back to the medium he once thought would make him rich: rap.