Naming Jhumpa Lahiri: Canons and Controversies by Lavina DhingraNaming Jhumpa Lahiri: Canons and Controversies by Lavina Dhingra

Naming Jhumpa Lahiri: Canons and Controversies

EditorLavina Dhingra, Floyd Cheung

Paperback | March 27, 2012

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Jhumpa Lahiri is among the few contemporary writers being read widely by both mainstream and minority audiences, the general public and academic scholars, in the U.S. and globally. While her works focus on specific ethnic experiences of highly educated, upper middle-class professional Bengalis and their children living in New England since the 1970s, they simultaneously address universal themes that consistently keep them on the New York Times bestseller lists, and that have made the film adaptation of her novel, The Namesake (2006), into a transnational phenomenon. Lahiri is also one of the first South Asian American writers to be included in the Heath Anthology of American Literature.Even though South Asian diasporic writers have won many prestigious international prizes, the meteoric success of Jhumpa Lahiri has raised new questions regarding her naming: Is she a Bengali American writer? An Asian American writer? An Indian writer? An American writer? A postcolonial writer? Does what we name her matter? Does this naming determine whether, and how, and by whom Lahiri's texts are read and taught, and to which literary canons they belong? Why is Lahiri's writing so successful among multiple audiences, whether in Bengal, Boston, or beyond?Naming Jhumpa Lahiri: Canons and Controversies addresses these and other questions, and explains why naming matters, to whom, and how paying attention to these questions can deepen our appreciation for the politics surrounding Lahiri's works and our understanding of the literary texts themselves. This collection marks a significant evolution of the field of Asian American studies as it does not merely include scholars of South Asian descent writing about a South Asian writer in an ethnically confined context, but rather allows for intertextualities and conversations among scholars of varied ethnicities and fields including postcolonial, popular culture, psychoanalytic, film, women's, American, and world literature studies.
Editors: Lavina Dhingra is Professor of English at Bates College, and has served as Faculty Associate Dean of Admissions from 2006-2009. She is the contributing co-editor of A Part, Yet Apart: South Asians in Asian America (Temple University Press, 1998) and is completing a book manuscript on South Asian American women's literature. S...
Title:Naming Jhumpa Lahiri: Canons and ControversiesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:254 pages, 8.96 × 5.43 × 0.76 inPublished:March 27, 2012Publisher:Lexington BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0739175874

ISBN - 13:9780739175873


Table of Contents

Introduction: Naming Jhumpa Lahiri: Bengali, Asian American, Postcolonial, UniversalLavina Dhingra, Bates College, and Floyd Cheung Smith CollegePart 1: The Ethnic, the Orientalist, and/or the Universal?Chapter 1: Mediating the Particular and the General: Ethnicity and Intertextuality in Jhumpa Lahiri's OeuvreKaren Cardozo, Five Colleges, Inc.Chapter 2: The Inheritance of Postcolonial Loss, Asian American Melancholia, and Strategies of Compensation in Jhumpa Lahiri's The NamesakeFloyd Cheung, Smith College, and Lavina Dhingra, Bates CollegeChapter 3: What Lies Beneath: Lahiri's Brand of Desirable Difference in Unaccustomed EarthRajini Srikanth, University of Massachusetts BostonPart 2: Consuming Diaspora: Audience and Imaginary/Intimate CommunitiesChapter 4: Novel/Cinema/Photo: Intertextual Readings of The NamesakeBakirathi Mani, Swarthmore CollegeChapter 5: Affect, History, and the Ironies of Community and Solidarity in Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of MaladiesSusan Muchshima Moynihan, State University of New York at BuffaloChapter 6: Intimate Awakening: Jhumpa Lahiri, Diasporic Loss, and the Responsibility of the InterpreterRani Neutill, Johns Hopkins UniversityPart 3: Gendered Ruptures and Familial BelongingsChapter 7: Feminizing Men?: Moving Beyond Asian American Literary Gender Wars in Jhumpa Lahiri's FictionLavina Dhingra, Bates CollegeChapter 8: Gendered (Be)Longing: First- and Second-Generation Migrants in the Works of Jhumpa LahiriReshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt, Linfield CollegeChapter 9: Re-Rooting Families: The Alter/Natal as the Central Dynamic of Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed EarthAmbreen Hai, Smith College

Editorial Reviews

This dynamic first collection on Lahiri's fiction addresses accepted, conflicting, and evolving definitions about family, nationality, home, ethnic-global movement, and canonicity that her work and literary popularity raise.  Its scholarly alliances and divergences guarantee that it will continue to provoke such necessary debate.