Writing Back: Ethics and Aesthetics in <i>Joss and Gold</i>


  • Chitra Sankaran, National University of Singapore


Shirley Geok-lin Lim’s novel, Joss and Gold, published in 2001, can be viewed as quintessentially “academic†in some ways because, though it has an intricate plot and a well-paced narrative, it also raises all the pertinent questions that are the central preoccupations of resistance discourses such as feminism and post-colonialism. My paper will examine how these resistant discourses emerge in the text and the ways in which the novel writes back to a western tradition that has typecast Asia in general and Asian women in particular. I examine some of the ethical concerns and aesthetic designs that emerge and discuss how characterisation, plot and thematic concerns push forward ethical agendas. I also discuss how the ethical and aesthetic dimensions meld into each other in order to foreground issues that are central to the debate, such as the construction of the modern Asian woman, the concept of the nation and so forth.


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Author Biography

Chitra Sankaran, National University of Singapore

Chitra Sankaran, PhD (London), is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore. Her areas of research interest include South and Southeast Asian Fiction, Feminism, Ecocriticism and Comparative Literature. In 2012 she edited and published with SUNY History, Narrative and Testimony in Amitav Ghosh’s Fiction, the first international volume of essays on Ghosh. Her publications include monographs, edited volumes and chapters in books. Her articles have appeared in several international refereed journals including Journal of Commonwealth Literature, ARIEL and Journal of South Asian Literatures.




How to Cite

Sankaran, National University of Singapore, C. (2014). Writing Back: Ethics and Aesthetics in &lt;i&gt;Joss and Gold&lt;/i&gt;. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 8(1), 173–184. Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/ajell/article/view/461



Articles on Shirley Geok-lin Lim