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Title: Recast(e)ing an "alien" veil on the Asian body: the western imaginary and South Asian identity in youth literature
Authors: Adhikari, Hari R.
Keywords: Youths' writings, English
South Asians -- Youth literature
Issue Date: 3-Jan-2018
Abstract: This dissertation explores the ideological constructions of the identity of South Asian children and young adults, especially in the discourses of literatures targeted for younger audiences. By categorizing these novels in terms of the authors’ strategic positions as having outsider views (Western authors writing about South Asian youth), insider-outsider views (South Asian diaspora authors writing from “exile”), and insider views (South Asian authors based in home countries), I examine these literatures as “pre-texts,” “con-texts,” and “post-texts.” I have discovered that these discourses have been “disOrienting” South Asian youth at different levels, and the Westernizing tendency observed in these discourses is at once empowering and disempowering readers in the formative stages of their identities. I have analyzed the patterns seen in the novels of Roland Smith, Patricia McCormick, Suzanne Fisher Staples, Tanuja Desai Hidier, Kiran Desai, Salman Rushdie, Shyam Selvadurai, and Arundhati Roy. As the literatures written from these different contexts all involve texts which often tend to be “contrary” to the lived realities and actual social expectations of South Asian youths, the process of these youths’ identity formation becomes further complicated. My research provides a mapping of these complex processes of casting and recasting “alien” veils on South Asian youths, wherever they may be living. Finally, I argue that the cross-cultural analysis of international children’s and young adult literatures provides opportunities to both teachers and students to understand themselves and the world around them better.
Description: A Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor Of Philosophy, Department of English, Illinois State University, 2012.
Appears in Collections:800 Literature & Rhetoric

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