While many people see ‘home’ as the domestic sphere and place of belonging, it is hard to grasp its manifold implications, and even harder to provide a tidy definition of what it is. Over the past century, discussion of home and nation has been a highly complex matter, with broad political ramifications, including the realignment of nation-states and national boundaries. Against this backdrop, this book suggests that ‘home’ is constructed on the assumption that what it defines is constantly in flux and thus can never capture an objective perspective, an ultimate truth.
Along these lines, Unreliable Truths offers a comparative literary approach to the construction of home and concomitant notions of uncertainty and unreliable narration in South Asian diasporic women’s literature from the UK, Australia, South Africa, the Caribbean, North America, and Canada. Writers discussed in detail include Feroza Jussawalla, Suneeta Peres da Costa, Meera Syal, Farida Karodia, Shani Mootoo, Shobha Dé, and Oonya Kempadoo.
With its focus on transcultural homes, Unreliable Truths goes beyond discussions of diaspora from an established postcolonial point of view and contributes with its investigation of transcultural unreliable narration to the representation of a g/local South Asian diaspora.
About the Author
Sissy Helff is currently guest professor for English literature and visual culture at the University of Darmstadt. Her most recent publications include several co-edited volumes: Die Kunst der Migration: Aktuelle Positionen zum europäisch-afrikanischen Diskurs; Material – Gestaltung – Kritik (2011), Facing the East in the West: Images of Eastern Europe in British Literature, Film and Culture (2010), Transcultural Modernities: Narrating Africa in Europe (2009), and Transcultural English Studies (2008). She is currently working on a book dealing with the image of the refugee in British writing and a collection of essays dealing with Alice in Wonderland.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Homemaking in a Globalized World
Of Social and Imaginary Homeworlds
South Asian Homeworlds, Transnational Alliances
Common Narrative Ground: Transcultural Narrative Unreliability
Homing in on Unreliable Storytelling
Fictionalizing South Asian Diasporic Homemaking: Farida Karodia’s Other Secrets & Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night
Growing Up in Transcultural Diasporic Worlds: Suneeta Peres da Costa’s Homework, Meera Syal’s Anita and Me, and Shobha Dé’s Strange Obsession
Transcultural Disillusionments: Oonya Kempadoo’s Tide Running
Conclusion: South Asian Diasporic Writing and the Transcultural Imaginary