Ni Loingsigh A (2020) Migrant Narratives. In: Pettinger A & Youngs T (eds.) Routledge Research Companion to Travel Writing. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 45-57. https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Research-Companion-to-Travel-Writing-1st-Edition/Pettinger-Youngs/p/book/9781315613710
This chapter examines some of the key issues related to the textualization of undocumented migrant journeys. Key amongst these is the constantly evolving generic contract underpinning narratives of travel assumed to be truthful and accurate. Given the widely acknowledged need for the critical study of travel to open its enquiries to a wider range of voices, territories and languages, the chapter explores what it might mean to ‘fabricate’ an account of migrant travel, as Omar Ba is said to have done in his 2008 narrative Soif d’Europe. Ba’s so-called ‘posturing’ becomes a focal point for unpacking understandings of undocumented migrant travel and the literary contexts, aesthetic qualities and ideological undercurrents of related narratives. Given that the ‘artifice’ of the text was said to have discredited the cause of undocumented immigrants, the chapter also considers what alternative models might restore 'credibility' to this form and what criteria are insisted upon (and why) for trustworthiness to be established.
Travel writing; undocumented migrancy; truth and fiction;