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Indian Writers

Transnationalisms and Diasporas


Jaspal K. Singh and Rajendra Chetty

Indian Writers attempt to locate diasporic voices in the interstitial spaces of countless ideologies. The anthology provides a critical examination of dislocated diasporic subjects – those who have adjusted to the dislocation well, those who have chosen the hybrid spaces for empowerment, those who are dragged forcefully to various territories, and yet those who gleefully inhabit trans-local spaces. A wide range of voices raise these critical questions: How do we read these voices? How are the voices received in various locations? Are these voices considered Indian? Do they represent Indianness, or some hybridized version of it? What is an authentic cultural identity? What, ultimately, is Indianness, or for that matter, any hard-won national or ethnic identity?
Additionally, as more female writers are being read, both in the global south and in the north, the reception of these texts, particularly in an era of globalization, and in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack in the United States, raises questions on how the «other», the subaltern, is represented and read.
Some writers use an assimilationist approach to the cultures of the West to such a degree that they find Indian culture monolithically oppressive, while others continue to romanticize Indianness, yet others eroticize and ethnicize the east for western consumption. The authors of the essays in this anthology examine contemporary debates in postcolonial and transnational literary criticism in an attempt to understand the often complex and hybrid narratives of the diasporic Indian subject.
Contents: Aparajita De: Pariah or Messiah: Gogol Ganguly & the Problematization of Transnational Identity – Ronit Frenkel: Writing South Africa in Diaspora: Imraan Coovadia’s The Wedding – Jaspal Kaur Singh: The Indian Diaspora in Burma and the Politics of Globalization in Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace and Mira Kamdar’s Motiba’s Tattoos – Ryan Paul Singh: «I want to be surprised when I hear your voice»: Who Speaks for Jasmine? – Sam Naidu: Life-Writing: The Migrating Selves of Meena Alexander – Alison Graham-Bartolini: The Advantage of Estrangement in Mukherjee’s Jasmine – Rajendra Chetty: Mapping Durban in Aziz Hassim’s The Lotus People – Christopher Larkosh: Reading ‘South Asia’ in Dangerous Times (And Other Lessons from the Future) – Charlie Wesley: The Function of «Good» and «Evil» in The Satanic Verses: A Query – Seri Inthava Luangphinith: Of Exile and Return: Exploring Fiji-Indian Literary Metaphors – Peter Simatei: Hybrid Identities and Cultural Pluralism in East African Asian Writing – James Gifford: Vassanji’s Toronto and Durrell’s Alexandria: The View from Across or the View from Beside?