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The Cultural Landscape of Jhumpa Lahiri and Kiran Desai

The Cultural Landscape of Jhumpa Lahiri and Kiran Desai
$31.00
Item Code: NAS221
Author: Kamal Kumar Raul
Publisher: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9788126919277
Pages: 192
Cover: HARDCOVER
Other Details: 8.50 X 5.50 inch
weight of the book: 0.39 kg
About the Book

The 2006 Man Booker Prize winner Kiran Desai, for her novel, The Inheritance of Loss, and the recipient of 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Jhumpa Lahiri, are two post-colonial immigrant migration writers whose writings are fabulously rich in conflict of class and culture.

Jhumpa Lahiri's debut short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies took the literary world by storm and won her accolades from the critics. It was followed by her bestselling first novel, The Namesake, a finely wrought, deeply moving family drama that illustrates her signature themes: the immigrant experience, the clash of culture, and the tangled ties between the generations. Her latest literary piece, The Lowland presents a nice blend of immigrant pain and pensiveness.

Kiran Desai’s comic fable, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard points out different conflicts of class and culture in the spirit of R.K. Narayan's humour, irony and satire with Chaucerian temper. Her The Inheritance of Loss is "a magnificent novel of human breadth and wisdom, comic tenderness and powerful political acuteness’ said Hermione Lee, the chairperson of the Jury of the Man Booker Prize for 2006.

The characters in the novel are trapped between two cultures—the dominating western and the degenerated native counterpart and the writer leaves their enigma unsolved, like E.M. Forster in A Passage to India, in broad sense.

The book will be useful for the students, and teachers of English literature, Indian English literature and diasporic writing, and researchers in these fields.

About the Author

Dr. Kamal Kumar Raul did his Ph.D. from 1.1.T., Roorkee, (Uttarakhand) with Full bright fellowship, M.Phil. from Jamia Millia Islamia (Central University), New Delhi, and M.A. in English with Translation as Special Paper from Utkal University, Vani Vihar. Dr. Raul has presented more than 30 scholarly papers in different international and national seminars and conferences so far. A good number of his articles have been published in international and national referred journals. He is presently working as an Assistant Professor in English Language and Literature in the University of Delhi (Hindu College).

Dr. Raul has authored two books of critical study on the diasporic culture and three books on the tribal culture, which are under publication.

Preface

Diasporists, shaped by globalizing discourse, describe genuine erosions of the link between a bounded place and a people. They diagnose it as irresistible, ill and unhealthy, and quickly affirm its contribution to a pluralistic, multicultural and hybridized world of which they approve ‘home’, as their ‘mythic place of desire’ in the diasporic imagination on one hand and lived experience of locality on the other. Their assimilation sings and smells the tunes of its heat and huts, dirt and dusts, voices and visions from dawn to dusk, and above all, everyday social life of their homeland in the hut of their host land. These old familiar things haunt and hound and sense and sound the sweet and short fond memories and ultimately, let them place in the Third World of compromise and compensation. The diaspora critics call them ‘willed home’ or ‘host home’.

Wittgenstein’s ‘rope’ (single family) is more useful in understanding the condition of diaspora than any other theory. On the other hand, the melting pot theory and boiling pot theory may be sufficient stepping stones to synchronise and systematize the cultural clashes, be it American diaspora or Indian diaspora in particular, or diaspora in general.

This clash of cultures may be the climatic theme of my effort that all diasporas suffer from pain and pensiveness, whether they belong to the school of expatriates or immigrants. The sense of alienation and anguish and cultural hamlets of Kiran Desai and Jhumpa Lahiri are supposed to be my subjective analysis of the book.

"No diaspora is happy", says Prof. Vijay Mishra, because, there are several reasons. The climatic reason I think is that their fear is stronger than the love to their host home for which they suffer from the pangs of cultural pain and pensiveness. Most probably, diasporas, whom we call ‘hyphenated selves’ suffer from cultural jaundice, driven by colonial neurosis. That urges them to be in quest of western values and glamorous lifestyle leaving behind their home culture. They are forced to submerge themselves in the whirlpool of melting pot and boiling pot theories of imagination.

It is largely seen that migration scholars are increasingly using gardening terms like uprooting, scattering, transplanting, grafting, and highbridity. This seems to be highly scientific and biotechnical. The scholars like Stuart Hall, James Clifford and Paul Gilroy have given their pioneering theories on diasporic writers which are analyzed in my debate and discussion of cultural clash of two writers—Kiran Desai and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Conflict is the law of the nature of living beings, whether rational or irrational. It has multifaceted dimensions. It 1s entirely a mental affair and ultimately leads to existential world. Conflict of class and culture is significantly precipated in human mind, and diasporas feel marooned in foreign lands in search of identity. This is a predominant theme of the works of migration writers. The Booker Prize winner young woman writer, Kiran Desai, the daughter of celebrated novelist Anita Desai, and the Pulitzer awardee Jhumpa Lahiri are two post-colonial immigrant migration writers whose writings are fabulously rich in the conflict of class and culture.

The diasporic writers always suffer from the multicultural hypoglycemia. Kiran Desai and Jhumpa Lahiri, whose writings I discuss on the specific dimensions of clash of cultures, are two well-known migration writers of this 21st century. Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss and Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake and Interpreter of Maladies are focal points of discussion in this book since Lahiri’s The Lowland had not come to light then. The conflict of class and culture of local and global identities is discussed in pertinent contexts.

Kiran Desai’s Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard points out different conflicts of class and culture in the spirit of R.K. Narayan’s humour, irony and satire with Chaucerian temper. Her The Inheritance of Loss is a magnificent novel of human breadth and wisdom, comic tenderness and powerful political acuteness, as stated by Hermione Lee, the chairperson of the Jury of the Booker Prize for 2006. The characters in the novel are trapped between two cultures—the dominating western and the degenerated native counterpart—as in E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India in a broad sense.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s debut short story collection Interpreter of Maladies took the literary world by storm when it won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006. It was followed by her bestselling first novel The Namesake, a finely wrought, deeply moving family drama that illustrates her signature themes—the immigrant experience, the clash of culture and the tangled ties between the generations. The journey from Kolkata to Cambridge, and from Cambridge to Boston suburbs finely portrays Ganguli’s family saga typifying identity crisis. This shows Lahiri’s enormous powers of description with profound emotional deft so far.

I have tried to maintain a balance between the original vision of the book, updating sources and facts and figures in making the book student-friendly, and responding to new debate.

**Contents and Sample Pages**










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