The Fiction of South Asians in North America and the Caribbean

A Critical Study of English-Language Works Since 1950

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About the Book

This study establishes connections between the themes and methodologies of writers within the South Asian diaspora in the New World, and serves both serious analysts as well as beginning readers of South Asian fiction. It is an impartial study that analyzes the stylistic excellence of South Asian fiction and the clearly emergent motifs of the writers, recognizing the value of the interplay of cultural differences and the need for resolution of those differences.
The book begins with a discussion of the works of Indo-Caribbean novelists Samuel Selvon and V.S. Naipaul, author of A House for Mr. Biswas and The Enigma of Arrival, thereby establishing parallels between the immigration patterns of the South Asian diaspora who first emigrated to the Caribbean long before significant numbers of South Asians came to the United States. Next, the fiction of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (Heat and Dust), the non-fictional narratives of Ved Mehta (Face to Face), and the satire and social criticism of Bharati Mukherjee (Wife) and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Sister of My Heart) are discussed. New literary voices such as those of Bapsi Sidhwa (An American Brat), Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, whose characters, plots and themes deal with universal human experiences, Akhil Sharma, Manil Suri and Samrat Upadhyay are studied for the new directions and new methods they offer. A sub-genre of young adult fiction is discovered in the novels of Dhan Gopal Mukerji, such as in his Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon, and more recently in the works of Mitali Perkins and Indi Rana. Recent expatriate novelists from South Asia such as Anita Desai, Amitav Chosh, Vikram Chandra and the American editions of Vikram Seth’s novels are appraised together with contemporary Indo-Canadian novelists and Indo-Caribbean novelists resident in Canada.

About the Author(s)

Mitali Pati Wong is a professor of English at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She has published two books of literary criticism and several articles, and is the recipient of a two year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to work on South Asian literature.
Zia Hasan is vice president for Planning, Assessment and Information Services and also a professor of English at Claflin University. Both live in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Mitali P. Wong and Zia Hasan
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 155
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1925-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8224-5
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“impressive”—American Literature.