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Emerging South Asian Women Writers

Essays and Interviews


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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10. Language, Diaspora, and Identity: An Interview with Yasmine Gooneratne


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Yasmine Gooneratne, author of numerous books, including poetry, fiction, and literary criticism, was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She graduated from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, with a First Class Honours degree in English, spent three years in doctoral study at Cambridge University, and then returned to Sri Lanka to marry and to teach at Peradeniya. In 1972 she moved to Macquarie University, New South Wales, where she taught, researched, and published in the fields of English and postcolonial literature. Her published books include studies of Jane Austen, Alexander Pope, Leonard Woolf, and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

In recognition of her contribution to international scholarship, she has been awarded Macquarie University’s first higher doctoral degree (D.Litt.), the Order of Australia, and the Samvad India Foundation’s Raja Rao Award which acknowledges authors who deal with the South Asian Diaspora in their literary work. In 1990 she was invited to become the Patron of the Jane Austen Society of Australia. In September 2008 her homeland Sri Lanka honored her with the Sahityaratna (“Jewel of Literature”) Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. She is currently a Trustee of the Pemberley International Study Centre, the research institution established in 1999 by her husband, Dr. Brendon Gooneratne, in Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Yasmine Gooneratne also directs The Guardian Angels, a literary editing service she has established in Sri Lanka and Australia to assist new writers. Gooneratne won the 1992 Marjorie Barnard Award for Literary Fiction for her first novel,...

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