The Table Is Laid The Oxford Anthology Of South Asian Food Writing

Item Code: IDI666
Author: John Thieme And Ira Raja
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 0195674448
Pages: 429
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.6" X 5.4
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Book Description
From The Jacket

This anthology of writings on food brings together a wide range of literary and non-literary texts from South Asia. It draws on writing in English from the subcontinent, as well as the diaspora. It includes extracts from works by V. S. Naipaul, Romesh Gunesekera, Salman Rushdie, Sara Suleri, Kamila Shamsie, Githa Hariharan, and Kiran Desai, among others, alongside translations from regional Indian languages. The volume covers a broad range of areas: scholarly, narrative, philosophical, literary, anthropological, and cultural.

Striking a balance between 'food writing' and 'food cultural studies', the anthology offers something of interest for everyone. The persuasive and acutely argued Introduction blends erudition and readability. The well conceived sections see food as a trope fork among other things, colonial semantics; caste oppression; female sexual subversion; the anticolonial hunger strike; and the somatic realities of famine.

The recent interest in literary representation of food dwells on the idea that not only is eating the most basic of human activities, but also a major marker of social, cultural, and psychic identity. Food is an integral way in which individuals perceive themselves, and are perceived by others, resulting in stereotyping, as well as providing a means of self-determination.

The volume's most important contribution lies in bringing the specificities of South Asian food cultures to bear upon the global field of food cultural studies. It will appeal to all those interested in South Asian culture, gender, literature, anthropology, as well as general readers.

John Thieme teaches at the University of East Anglia. His recent publications include The Aronold Anthology of Post-Colonial Literatures in English (1996), Postcolonial Con-Text: Writing back to the Canon (2001) and Post-Colonial Studies: The Essential Glossary (2003). He has been Editor of The Journal of Commonwealth Literature since 1992

Ira Raja is Lecturer in the Department of English, University of Delhi. She is Associate Editor of The Journal of Commonwealth Literature.

Some Opinions

'He put sown two hundred dollars on the brass plate and, before he rose, whispered to Ganesh, "Remember you promise, sahib. Eat, boy; eat, son; eat, sahib; eat pundit sahib. I bet you, eat."

- V. S. Naipaul, from The Mystic Masseur

'…his stomach growled and he took the fruit into his hands. He was cross and grumpy. The guava was cool and green and calm-looking…
Guavas are tasty and refreshing and should be eaten whenever possible. He stared at the fruit, wished he could absorb all its coolness, all its quiet and stillness into him.'

-Kiran Desai, from Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard

'All of a sudden he felt a wave of love come over him. Poovan Bananas. It was the first thing Jameela had asked of him. God in heaven, what things other women would have demanded of their husbands. Gold, silk, bangles, cars, aeroplanes.'

-Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, from 'Poovan Banana'

'She was pretty, no doubt. Fine features, a butter-white complexion and small, dainty hands and feet. But she had let herself go and her body slackened like dough left out overnight.'

-Ismat Chughtai, 'The Rock'

'Jhethu was never satisfied unless the fruit was bought from New Market. Baskets full of fruit on Christmas. Huge oranges, red apples, clusters of grapes. And that man had to die with his last wish unfulfilled. Instead of big grapes, he had small sour ones.'

- Ashapurna Devi, 'Nibaran Chandra's Last Rites'

Food for Thought: Towards an Anthology of Hindu Food-images1
A. K. Ramanujan
Mohandas K. Gandhi
Fakir Muhammed Katpadi
Jayanta Mahapatra
From Nabanna48
Bijan Bhattacharya
The Hunger of Death60
Jean Arasanayagam
The Trellis65
Bibhuti Bhushan Bandyopadhyay
Poovan Banana78
Vaikom Mohammed Basheer
A Devoted Son
Anita Desai
The Rock100
Ismat Chughtai
From The Tiger Ladies: A Memoir of Kashmir115
Sudha Koul
Nibaran Chandra's Last Rites119
Ashapurana Devi
Nanak Singh
Eleventh Day136
Thummeti Raghothama Reddi
A Cup of Coffee152
Indira Parthasarathi
A Butcher163
Agha Shahid Ali
From The Mystic Masseur165
V. S. Naipaul
Irani Restaurant Instructions171
Nissim Ezekiel
Fish Mayonnaise172
Kishori Charan Das
Family Dinner181
Dom Moraes
Order Cancel182
Preetish Acharya
The Waiters189
Adil Jussawalla
'Cook's Joy', from Reef191
Romesh Gunesekera
From Mai210
Geetanjali Shree
Of Kitchens and Goddesses215
Shashi Deshpande
Girl in the Kitchen220
From The Bus Stopped223
Tabish Khair
The Stinking Rose227
Sujata Bhatt
Sujata Bhatt
A Touch of Coriander22
Sujata Bhatt
From The Mistress of Spices233
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Patoler Ma237
Chitrita Banerji
Mango Fever243
Jean Arasanayagam
From Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard245
Kiran Desai
Alamgir Hashmi
K. Satchidanandan
From The Vendor of Sweets254
R. K. Narayan
Gajar Halwa260
Githa Hariharan
Bama Charan Mitra
A Drop of Milk273
Narendra Mirta
Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes282
Kaiser Haq
Asghar Wajahat
The Curse298
Pratibha Ray
The She-Cat312
Sanjukta Bandopadhyay
Of Memories and Meals313
Attia Hosain
The Picnic In Jammu319
Zulfikar Ghose
From The Hungry Tide321
Amitav Ghosh
Remembering Kedgeree 325
Adrian Carton325
From Salt and Saffron329
Kamila Shamsie
From Meatless Days333
Sara Suleri
From Such a Long Journey341
Rohinton Mistry
'Son, Eat your Fill'350
Daya Pawar
From Twice Cursed357
Kausalya Baisantri
From Midnight's Children364
Salman Rushdie
From The God of Small Things368
Arundhati Roy
Bosom Friend377
Hira Bansode
Glossary of Food Terms379
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