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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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11. A Journey from Sri Lanka to Australia: A Conversation with Chandani Lokugé


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Sissy Helff interviewed Chandani Lokugé in the mountains near Frankfurt, Germany on 14 October 2008.

After a forty-minute hike through the deep forests of the Taunus, Chandani Lokugé and I have reached our destination called “where the foxes dance.” This is a place where wanderers stop over for a hot tea or a marinated German hand cheese and a cider. The mountain hut is built on the crossroads of two secluded forest card roads. These roads have connected a number of remotely located villages for some hundred years or so, and it is in this romantic scenery that I have the pleasure to talk to the acclaimed postcolonial scholar and creative writer Chandani Lokugé about new developments in South Asian Australian writing.

Chandani Lokugé was born in Colombo, the capital city of the island of Sri Lanka. In 1987 she moved with her husband and her two daughters to Australia to complete her PhD on Indian women’s literature and to teach at Flinders University in South Australia. In 2001 she became the Director of the Centre for Postcolonial Writing and an Associate Professor in English at Monash University, Australia. Currently, Lokugé is the editor for Oxford University Press of the Classic Reissue series of Indian women’s autobiography and fiction. This series includes such works as India Calling: The Memories of Cornelia Sorabji, India’s First Woman Barrister (2001) and The Prose and Poetry of Toru Dutt (2006). Furthermore, she researches South Asian diasporic...

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