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New CosmopolitanismsSouth Asians in the US$
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Gita Rajan and Shailja Sharma

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804752800

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804752800.001.0001

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Theorizing Recognition: South Asian Authors in a Global Milieu

Theorizing Recognition: South Asian Authors in a Global Milieu

(p.150) Chapter Seven Theorizing Recognition: South Asian Authors in a Global Milieu
New Cosmopolitanisms

Gita Rajan

Shailja Sharma

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the contemporary popularity and/or recognition of South Asian authors—authors located in South Asia and in the global north, but who write about the spaces in and between South Asia and abroad. Although the shift from coloniality to postcoloniality, both in fiction and in analytical texts, is grounded upon the flawed but persistent logic of a Eurocentric modernity, authors like Salman Rushdie have made the questioning and critiquing of the historical basis of this modernity a central part of their fiction. In this they continue, in fictional terms, what Dipesh Chakrabarty has called the project of “provincializing Europe”. Over the last few years, writers and critics in India and the United States have engaged in a public debate about how South Asian writing in English should be defined. The second part of the chapter moves from elucidating the reasons for such globalized recognition to an analysis of the strategies that these authors use, which allows the argument that the success of South Asian writing in English has been its curious intermingling of difference and familiarity, strangeness, and the heimlich/unheimliche comforts that it offers.

Keywords:   South Asian writers, Eurocentric modernity, writing, South Asian fiction, new cosmopolitan writing

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