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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 Serving in the Indian Diaspora : The Transnational Domestic Servant in Contemporary Women’s Fiction
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'While substantial attention has been paid to the depiction of racial and cultural othering experienced by middle-class female Indian immigrants in the Global North, this article grapples with a rare figure in the fiction of the Indian diaspora: a female immigrant employed as a live-in domestic worker. By focusing on the novel Jasmine (1989) by Bharati Mukherjee and two short stories, “A Pocket Full of Stories” (2009) by Sujatha Fernandes and “Almost Valentine’s Day” (2014) by Mridula Koshy, the article examines how these divergent representations of domestic servitude complicate prevailing interpretations of the Indian diasporic experience, particularly by requiring an engagement with the complex intersection of class, race and gendered identities. Moreover, as this article demonstrates, with their contrasting ideological underpinnings, the three works compel readers to revisit the myth and reality of upward social mobility, and to reconceptualize the meaning of integration and exclusion in a transnational context.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Journal of Postcolonial Writing vol. 55 no. 1 2019 16521033 2019 periodical issue

    'This Ordinary Issue brings together articles that range geographically from Africa to India and historically from the late 19th century to the early 21st century, addressing short stories, novels, social media and journalistic writing. They share an interest in the politics of representation, genre and aesthetics, moving from pressing issues of world politics to the formal issues of representation. The issue starts with Dobrota Pucherova’s “Wizard of the Crow (2006) by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o as a Postcommunist Novel”, which discusses the Marxist core of Ngũgĩ’s writing in the context of his growing scepticism about the role played by African socialism while simultaneously trying to retain his neo-Marxist advocacy of working-class rights. Pucherova places the novel in relation to works by postcommunist writers, and the “postcommunist picaresque novel”, which critiques both communist and capitalist narratives. Analysing the manner in which modernity is figured across Ngũgĩ’s literary work, Pucherova draws on research from sociology and political science to argue that global forces of capitalism are presented in Wizard of the Crow as political players that disenfranchise those formerly colonized. The novel presents the power of the political as a force that stifles revolutionary impulses. The resulting sense of disempowerment is reinforced by the novel’s multiple narrators, who struggle for control of the text. The article closes with a reading of some recent postcommunist novels from former eastern bloc countries that take a similarly critical look at politics before and after the Cold War.' (Editor's note : introduction)

    pg. 108-120
Last amended 17 Dec 2019 08:38:02
108-120 Serving in the Indian Diaspora : The Transnational Domestic Servant in Contemporary Women’s Fictionsmall AustLit logo Journal of Postcolonial Writing