No Country: Working-Class Writing in the Age of Globalization

Hardcover | February 11, 2014

bySonali Perera

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Can there be a novel of the international working class despite the conditions and constraints of economic globalization? What does it mean to invoke working-class writing as an ethical intervention in an age of comparative advantage and outsourcing?

No Country argues for a rethinking of the genre of working-class literature. Sonali Perera expands our understanding of working-class fiction by considering a range of international texts, identifying textual, political, and historical linkages often overlooked by Eurocentric and postcolonial scholarship. Her readings connect the literary radicalism of the 1930s to the feminist recovery projects of the 1970s, and the anticolonial and postcolonial fiction of the 1960s to today's counterglobalist struggles, building a new portrait of the twentieth century's global economy and the experiences of the working class within it.

Perera considers novels by the Indian anticolonial writer Mulk Raj Anand; the American proletarian writer Tillie Olsen; Sri Lankan Tamil/Black British writer and political journalist Ambalavaner Sivanandan; Indian writer and bonded-labor activist Mahasweta Devi; South African-born Botswanan Bessie Head; and the fiction and poetry published under the collective signature Dabindu, a group of free-trade-zone garment factory workers and feminist activists in contemporary Sri Lanka. Articulating connections across the global North-South divide, Perera creates a new genealogy of working-class writing as world literature and transforms the ideological underpinnings casting literature as cultural practice.

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From the Publisher

Can there be a novel of the international working class despite the conditions and constraints of economic globalization? What does it mean to invoke working-class writing as an ethical intervention in an age of comparative advantage and outsourcing? No Country argues for a rethinking of the genre of working-class literature. Sonali P...

Sonali Perera is an associate professor of English at Hunter College, City University of New York, where she teaches courses in postcolonial literature and theory, working-class literature, feminist theory, and globalization studies.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:248 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:February 11, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231151942

ISBN - 13:9780231151948

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Read an excerpt from the introduction, "World Literature or Working-Class Literature in the Age of Globalization?":

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: World Literature or Working-Class Literature in the Age of Globalization?1. Colonialism, Race, and Class: Mulk Raj Anand's Coolie as a Literary Representation of the Subaltern2. Postcolonial Sri Lanka and "Black Struggles for Socialism": Socialist Ethics in Ambalavaner Sivanandan's When Memory Dies3. Gender, Genre, and Globalization4. Socialized Labor and the Critique of Identity Politics: Bessie Head's A Question of PowerEpilogue: Working-Class Writing and the Social ImaginationNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

A welcome addition and a worthwhile read.