In Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (1986), Ngûgi wa Thiong’o argues that colonies and neo-colonies “came to be defined and to define themselves in terms of the languages of Europe” (5). The experience of linguistic alienation thus pervades the internal landscapes of postcolonial imagination. As a result, the effects of colonialism are often addressed in postcolonial writing as a problem of displacement that exceeds purely spatial parameters to include questions of subjectivity, the mapping of emotional and perceptual environments, and the painstaking exploration of the possibilities and limitations of the imposed language. As V.S. Naipaul puts it with remarkably effective simplicity: “The English language was mine, the tradition was not” ( Jasmine 48). This contrast between language as a daily reality and language as a historical force suggests that we should never overlook or take for granted the intricate and often uneasy relationship between specific linguistic formulations and their broader historical context. In response to the unexamined arrogance of physically and conceptually settled (colonizing) worldviews, many leading postcolonial authors, grappling with a historical sense of internal exile of the colonized, employ a strategy that Salman Rushdie once called “writing back”: a way of reclaiming the very system of signification in relation to one’s cultural location. Homi Bhabha describes this historical process and literary method as the oppressed and marginalized cultures’ “right to signify” (231). While this right to signification implies, of course, a broader struggle to assert one’s cultural visibility and significance, it also reminds us of the centrality of mere words, of language itself, in the process of self-formation and self-recognition.