For South Asians, food regularly plays a role in how issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and national identity are imagined as well as how notions of belonging are affirmed or resisted.Culinary Fictionsprovides food for thought as it considers the metaphors literature, film, and TV shows use to describe Indians abroad. When an immigrant mother in Jhumpa Lahiri'sThe Namesakecombines Rice Krispies, Planters peanuts, onions, salt, lemon juice, and green chili peppers to create a dish similar to one found on Calcutta sidewalks, it evokes not only the character's Americanization, but also her nostalgia for India.
Food, Anita Mannur writes, is a central part of the cultural imagination of diasporic populations, andCulinary Fictionsmaps how it figures in various expressive forms. Mannur examines the cultural production from the Anglo-American reaches of the South Asian diaspora. Using texts from novels-Chitra Divakaruni'sMistress of Spicesand Shani Mootoo'sCereus Blooms at Night-and cookbooks such as Madhur Jaffrey'sInvitation to Indian Cookingand Padma Lakshmi'sEasy Exotic, she illustrates how national identities are consolidated in culinary terms.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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