Theorists of Orientalism and postcolonialism argue that
novelists betray political and cultural anxieties when
characterizing "the Other." Shameem Black takes a different stance.
Turning a fresh eye toward several key contemporary novelists, she
reveals how "border-crossing" fiction represents socially diverse
groups without resorting to stereotype, idealization, or other
forms of imaginative constraint. Focusing on the work of J. M.
Coetzee, Amitav Ghosh, Jeffrey Eugenides, Ruth Ozeki, Charles
Johnson, Gish Jen, and Rupa Bajwa, Black introduces an
interpretative lens that captures the ways in which these authors
envision an ethics of representing social difference. They not only
offer sympathetic portrayals of the lives of others but also detail
the processes of imagining social difference.
Whether depicting the multilingual worlds of South and Southeast
Asia, the exportation of American culture abroad, or the racial
tension of postapartheid South Africa, these transcultural
representations explore social and political hierarchies in
constructive ways. Boldly confronting the orthodoxies of recent
literary criticism, Fiction Across Borders builds upon such seminal
works as Edward Said's Orientalism and offers a provocative new
study of the late twentieth-century novel.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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