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Literature and the Creative Economy$
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Sarah Brouillette

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804789486

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804789486.001.0001

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Economy and Pathology in Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger and Monica Ali’s In the Kitchen

Economy and Pathology in Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger and Monica Ali’s In the Kitchen

Chapter:
4 Economy and Pathology in Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger and Monica Ali’s In the Kitchen
Source:
Literature and the Creative Economy
Author(s):

Sarah Brouillette

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804789486.003.0005

This chapter discusses the success of narratives that focus on a protagonist's therapeutic trajectory from suffering self to successful entrepreneur, and suggests that writers have themselves been crucial models of this therapeutic biography. It begins by discussing Aravind Agida's 2008 novel The White Tiger as a critique of the neoliberal rhetoric of entrepreneurial innovation. The novel suggests that this rhetoric downplays dependence on an expanding service class, and requires its protagonist's anti-social conception of the flexible self as an engine of capital accumulation. The chapter compares Adiga's work to Monica Ali's 2009 novel In the Kitchen, homing in on its depiction of the breakdown of Gabriel, an aspiring restaurant owner who embodies many of the features of the creative worker imagined by New Labour policy.

Keywords:   Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger, neoliberalism, popular psychology, therapeutic self, Monica Ali, In the Kitchen, Brick Lane, creative labor

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