When Are We Ever at Home? Exile and Nostalgia in the Work of Guy Gavriel Kay

  • Susan Johnston
Part of the Studies in Global Science Fiction book series (SGSF)


This chapter examines Guy Gavriel Kay’s historical fantasy novels as sites of exploration for the construction of nationhood. Johnston argues that, for Kay, the history of nation building and identity building has been one of conquest and colonization, of departure and displacement, of homesteading and of rehoming. Kay creates myths of nationhood and nationalism, seeing the exile and expatriate figures who mark them as icons of an idea of nation that is always being imagined even as it is always being lost. He does so in novels that reimagine world history in alternate versions of ancient and medieval Europe and Asia, estranging the familiar, rendering it unheimlich: both home and not home at once.


Guy Gavriel Kay Exile Nostalgia Epic fantasy Fionavar Tapestry 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Johnston
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ReginaReginaCanada

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