Mythologies of Migration, Vocabularies of Indenture: Novels of the South Asian Diaspora in Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific

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University of Toronto Press, 2009 - Literary Criticism - 262 pages
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South Asian migration during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was largely comprised of indentured labourers sent to British colonies after the 1833 abolition of slavery. Mythologies of Migration, Vocabularies of Indenture uses the critical paradigm of 'indenture history' to examine the local literary and cultural histories that have influenced and shaped the development of novel-length fiction by writers of the South Asian diaspora in national contexts as diverse as Mauritius, South Africa, Guyana, and Fiji.

Mariam Pirbhai perceptively identifies common patterns, developments, and concerns in this cross-continental body of writing, including a 'vocabulary of indenture' that invokes the mythology and plight of the indentured labourer among a newly reconstituted community of colonial émigrés. Pirbhai's innovative study considers authors who fall outside the established canon of post-colonial writing, challenging readers to reconsider traditional peripheries as centres of literary and cultural production that have made significant contributions to the Anglophone novel.

 

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Contents

Theorizing Texts
14
Deepchand Beeharrys
41
Passenger Indians and Dispossessed Citizens in Uganda
66
New Configurations of Identity for the IndoGuyanese This Time
99
IndoTrinidadian Fictions of Community within the Metanarratives
127
Fiji as Fatal Paradise
179
Conclusion
196
Bibliography
231
Index
249
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Mariam Pirbhai is an assistant professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.

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