The World Next Door: South Asian American Literature and the Idea of America

The World Next Door: South Asian American Literature and the Idea of America

by Rajini Srikanth


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This book grows out of the question, "At this particular moment of tense geopolitics and inter-linked economies, what insights can South Asian American writing offer us about living in the world?"

South Asian American literature, with its focus on the multiple geographies and histories of the global dispersal of South Asians, pulls back from a close-up view of the United States to reveal a wider landscape of many nations and peoples.

South Asian American poets, novelists, and playwrights depict the nation as simultaneously discrete and entwined with the urgencies of places as diverse as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Pakistan, and Trinidad. Drawing on the cosmopolitan sensibility of scholars like Anthony Appiah, Vinay Dharwadker, Martha Nussbaum, Bruce Robbins, and Amartya Sen, this book exhorts North American residents to envision connectedness with inhabitants of other lands. The world out there arrives next door.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592130818
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 01/28/2006
Series: Asian American History and Culture Ser.
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Transnational Homepages: Safety in Multiple Addresses
3. Desire, Gender, and Sexuality
4. Writing What You're Not: Limits and Possibilities of the Insider Imperative
5. Trust and Betrayal in the Idea of America

What People are Saying About This

Vijay Prashad

Rajini Srikanth's The World Next Door is a beautiful and thoughtful exploration of the imagination of South Asian America. We are laid bare by her perceptiveness. Desi texts for her are not just about themselves, but they are also a riposte against the stereotypes of citizenship that engulf us.

Ketu H. Katrak

A pioneering study of the unique contributions of South Asian American writers, both prominent and marginal, situating their vision locally, globally, and within 'the idea of America.' Asian American studies is enriched by Srikanth's timely engagement as much with literary representations of ethnicity, immigrant relocation, transnationalism, [and] sexuality, as with her astute concern with geopolitical dynamics and struggles for social justice in the world today.

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