In Stereotype: South Asia in the Global Literary Imaginary

Paperback | January 10, 2017

byMrinalini Chakravorty

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In Stereotype confronts the importance of cultural stereotypes in shaping the ethics and reach of global literature. Mrinalini Chakravorty focuses on the seductive force and explanatory power of stereotypes in multiple South Asian contexts, whether depicting hunger, crowdedness, filth, slums, death, migrant flight, terror, or outsourcing. She argues that such commonplaces are crucial to defining cultural identity in contemporary literature and shows how the stereotype's ambivalent nature exposes the crises of liberal development in South Asia.

In Stereotype considers the influential work of Salman Rushdie, Aravind Adiga, Michael Ondaatje, Monica Ali, Mohsin Hamid, and Chetan Bhagat, among others, to illustrate how stereotypes about South Asia provide insight into the material and psychic investments of contemporary imaginative texts: the colonial novel, the transnational film, and the international best-seller. Probing circumstances that range from the independence of the Indian subcontinent to poverty tourism, civil war, migration, domestic labor, and terrorist radicalism, Chakravorty builds an interpretive lens for reading literary representations of cultural and global difference. In the process, she also reevaluates the fascination with transnational novels and films that manufacture global differences by staging intersubjective encounters between cultures through stereotypes.

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From the Publisher

In Stereotype confronts the importance of cultural stereotypes in shaping the ethics and reach of global literature. Mrinalini Chakravorty focuses on the seductive force and explanatory power of stereotypes in multiple South Asian contexts, whether depicting hunger, crowdedness, filth, slums, death, migrant flight, terror, or outsourc...

Mrinalini Chakravorty is associate professor of English at the University of Virginia and concentrates on postcolonial literature and film; studies of race, gender, and sexuality; and cultural studies. She is particularly interested in the theoretical intersections among these areas, including but not limited to transnational approach...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:January 10, 2017Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231165978

ISBN - 13:9780231165976

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsPrologue: Stereotypes as Provocation1. Why the Stereotype? Why South Asia?2. To Understand Me, You'll Have to Swallow a World: Margins, Multitudes, and the Nation in Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children3. Slumdog or White Tiger? The Abjection and Allure of Slums4. The Dead That Haunt Anil's Ghost: Subaltern Stereotypes and Postcolonial Melancholia5. From Bangladesh to Brick Lane: The Biocultural Stereotypes of Migrancy6. Good and Bad Transnationalisms: Outsourcing and TerrorEpilogue: The Afterlife of StereotypesNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Eminently readable, it will be of interest to scholars and students of postcolonial studies, cultural studies of globalization, South Asian literature, and global literature... A remarkably cogent and clarifying book, lucid in its genealogical tracks and impassioned in its perusal of well-loved novels.