Remodeling the Minority: An Intersectional Approach to Analyzing South Asian Anglophone Literature

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2021

Authors

Mehta, Poonum

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Abstract

Since the early 20th century, South Asian writers have struggled to find their place in the mainstream of English literature. At times their work is criticized for being too culturally foreign, leaving western audiences unable to understand and relate to their storylines. On the other hand. South Asian literature has primarily received recognition from the West for its novelty and exotic qualities. To replace this racialized single-axis framework that has dominated western literary analysis of South Asian anglophone literature, I propose an intersectional framework of analysis through which an understanding of the overlap of people’s identities can promote greater inclusivity of marginalized groups. After a thorough review of what structures and opinions perpetuated the divide between South Asian English and western English, I will analyze three authors, Mulk Raj Anand, Arundathi Roy, and Prageeta Sharma, using intersectionality to understand the ways that their identities, their perception of their identities, and the West’s perspective of their worft have shaped their writing. This intersectional analysis, I project, will demonstrate an alternative to the othering of South Asian anglophone literature from western literature that has persisted. Ultimately, adopting intersectionality will shift analysis away from being Orientalist and instead towards more thorough appreciation of South Asian anglophone literature.

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