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Emerging South Asian Women Writers

Essays and Interviews

Series:

Edited By Feroza Jussawalla and Deborah Fillerup Weagel

This volume was conceived as a space to provide visibility for South Asian women writers whose work has not had much exposure in the West. It contributes to the knowledge of South Asian women writers by including scholarship not only on little-known writers but also by scholars from India – in particular, those whose voices do not necessarily find themselves in western academic publications.
Many South Asian women writers engage with the overall quest for survival, which can be affiliated with all the themes expressed in this volume: trauma, diaspora, injustice, resistance, place, space, language, and identity. The texts discussed herein contribute to the ongoing discourse related to such themes in postcolonial studies and transnational literature, and could be used in courses on South Asian literature, women’s writing, postcolonial studies and literature, and world or transnational literature.
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Introduction

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Writing by men and women of South Asian origin has received considerable attention in the western publishing world and with the reading public over the last few decades. Much of this attention can be traced to the success of Salman Rushdie’s groundbreaking work Midnight’s Children (1980), for which he received the Man Booker Prize in 1981, the Booker of Bookers in 1993, and the Best of the Bookers in 2008. Arundhati Roy also gained recognition for her novel The God of Small Things, for which she was awarded the Booker Prize in 1997. The novel was on the New York Times bestseller list for approximately thirty-six weeks and was named one of the New York Times Notable Books of the Year. On both sides of the Atlantic, major literary lists, publishers, and prizes have borne witness to the fecundity of South Asian creativity, making whatever we want to call it—“postcolonial literature,” “world literature written in English,” or “national literature in English” (such as “Indian literature in English” or “Bangladeshi literature in English”)—central to contemporary literary production. These literatures have also become central to the literary dialogues current both in the media and in academia. Consequently, these literatures have also become central to the academic study of literature per se, bringing with them the theoretical perspectives that have been used to understand them, from the early approaches such as Commonwealth Literatures, focusing mostly on the development of national identities, to the more complex theoretical approaches...

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