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Reading Together, Reading ApartIdentity, Belonging, and South Asian American Community$
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Tamara Bhalla

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040481

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040481.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

A Narrow View of the World

A Narrow View of the World

Gendered Literary Culture and South Asian American Belonging

(p.77) 3 A Narrow View of the World
Reading Together, Reading Apart

Tamara Bhalla

University of Illinois Press

This chapter demonstrates how gender in the form of the gendered design of book covers, the construction of the authorial persona of Arundhati Roy and Salman Rushdie, and the gendered disciplinary formations of South Asian diasporic literary studies shapes ideologies of authenticity across readerships, establishing regimes of value that minoritize women's writing. The chapter argues that the gendered minoritization of South Asian literary culture influences how South Asians in the United States define their own sense of belonging via oppositional and ambivalent models of cosmopolitanism or ethnicity, postcolonialism or nationalism, and history or identity. It shows how transnational South Asian literature links minority literatures and female authors—an association that unwittingly devalued the literary contributions of South Asian female writers within U.S. contexts and created a problematic discourse of feminized minoritization with South Asian American culture.

Keywords:   gender equality, Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, South Asian literary studies, authenticity, women's writing, cosmopolitanism, postcolonialism, nationalism

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