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Women's voices: the presentation of women in the contemporary fiction of south Asian women

Lau, Lisa (2002) Women's voices: the presentation of women in the contemporary fiction of south Asian women. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis contains a detailed study of the genre of contemporary South Asian women's writings in English. It is still a relatively young literary subculture, and thus the majority of the works here discussed are those produced from the 1980s onwards. The study takes into account the postcolonial legacy of a culturally, racially and religiously diverse South Asia as well as the current social changes and upheavals in the region. The study encompasses the works of those writing both from within and without South Asia, noting the different social patterns emerging as a result of the geographical locations of the authors. The research primarily investigates issues pertinent to these writers; as women writers, as South Asian writers, as South Asian women writers, and as South Asian women writers writing in English. One key issue is the negotiation by these writers between the English language and the South Asian reality. Because it is literature written by the women of a traditionally proudly patriarchal society where the position of women has mostly been one of subservience, another form of negotiation in the literature is that between the centre and the periphery, the Self and the Other. In the course of this study, it will be seen that South Asian women writers have carved out a space for themselves on the literary scene, and staked an intellectual, literary and emotional territory of their own. The thesis focuses in particular on the representation of women, within the genre as well as in other contexts. Their literature creates images and identities of and for South Asia, South Asians, and South Asian women. The diasporic writers in particular play a vital role in the promotion and distribution of these images. The research also considers how readers respond to this literature and how publishers market the same.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2002
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:23

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