Post-9/11 Indian English Diaspora Fiction: Contexts and Concerns

  • Angshuman Kar

Abstract

Authenticity of the representations of the “real” problems of the Indian diasporans in Indian diaspora fiction has often been questioned by the critics as some ten or twelve years back, in the hands of most of the Indian diasporic writers, the problems of acculturation often got reduced only to the difficulty in mastering native manners and customs. Eminent Indian diaspora writers such as Jhumpa Lahiri and Kiran Desai, were, indeed, silent on religious, ethnic and racial problems that the Indian diasporic communities encounter in the host countries. Post 9/11 developments, mainly in the US, however, have compelled some of the Indian diaspora writers to respond to these issues. Marina Budhos’s Ask Me No Questions (2007), Kazim Ali’s The Disappearance of Seth (2009) and Hari Kunzru’s Transmission(2004) document post-9/11 hate crimes against the South Asians/Southeast Asians in general and the Muslims in particular in the US that expose the racialised fabric of the nation. It is interesting to observe that unlike Budhos, Ali and Kunzru, the big shots of Indian English diaspora fiction are still silent on issues that could be unpalatable, mainly, to the readers of the hostlands. This article, by focussing on the three novels mentioned above, will examine who are throwing light on the other side of the moon and why. In so doing, it will take up the novels not in terms of their chronological appearance, but in terms of the degree of their engagement with the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

Author Biography

Angshuman Kar
Angshuman Kar is Associate Professor and former Head, Department of English and Culture Studies, The University of Burdwan, India. He has also served the Sahitya Akademi (National Academy of Letters in India) as the Secretary of the Eastern Region. As the recipient of the Australia-India Council Fellowship, he has pursued research in different universities in Australia and has also edited Kalo Australiar Kabita (2009), which is an anthology of Australian Aboriginal poetry translated into Bengali, a regional language of India. His latest book is an edited volume, Contemporary Indian Diaspora: Literary and Cultural Representations (2015). He is currently engaged in a UGC-sponsored Major Research Project on Contemporary Indian Diaspora Fiction. Email:angshus@gmail.com.  
Published
2017-06-15
How to Cite
KAR, Angshuman. Post-9/11 Indian English Diaspora Fiction: Contexts and Concerns. <i>Asiatic</i>: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 1, june 2017. ISSN 1985-3106. Available at: <http://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/AJELL/article/view/967>. Date accessed: 24 sep. 2017.
Section
Section II: Articles and Interviews on South Asian Diaspora Literature