Lanscape and Identity in Contemporary South Asian Women Writers

By Margarida Martins.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

How are landscape and space portrayed in the narratives of South Asian female writers and what role do they play in the formation of a national and cultural identity? Many Indian authors of the Diaspora, writing in English, are involved in a quest for identity. This is revealed through their characters, their construction of social, cultural and historical meaning and through their relationship with the homeland, whether real or imaginary. Landscape and space in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss also play a fundamental and active role in the narrative and in the discovery of meaning, identity and identification. Whereas time in a novel is a dynamic factor allowing the reader to move between the present and the past, landscape and physical spaces are usually apparently solid and unchangeable. They are charged with history, culture and meaning. It is through them or around them that social action develops and identity is also constructed. I wish to explore some of these issues in my paper.

Keywords: South Asian Writers, Diaspora, Identity, Landscape, Kiran Desai

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.439-446. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 593.267KB).

Margarida Martins

Teacher of English as a Foreign Language, Language Center, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

Margarida Martins has a BA in Social Anthropology and Ancient History from University College London (1993-96) and an MA in American Literature and Culture from Keele University, UK (1998-99) with a final dissertation on the life and narrative of American writer William Burroughs. She is currently doing her PhD on South Asian female authors at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon. Her research involves issues on identity, culture and language in the works of female South Asian writers who write in English. While living in New York, Margarida did her TESOL course at Columbia University and has since been a teacher of English as a foreign language. She is curently teaching at various institutions in and around Lisbon and is also an online English tutor at the Portuguese Open University.

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