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Resistance and its discontents in South Asian women's fiction

By Maryam Mirza

Resistance and its discontents in South Asian women's fiction
Hardcover +
  • Price: £80.00
  • ISBN: 9781526150615
  • Publish Date: Aug 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £80.00
  • ISBN: 9781526150608
  • Publish Date: Aug 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: eBook
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5060-8
    • Published Date: August 2023

    Description

    'Mirza's theorization of resistance is a substantive addition to feminist and postcolonial scholarship, and her rich readings of different literary texts make a valuable contribution to feminist literary studies.'

    Nalini Iyer, Professor of English, Seattle University

    'Resistance and its discontents in South Asian women's fiction is a rigorous and impassioned exploration of the concept of resistance in postcolonial literature. It is an essential contribution to the field of postcolonial studies and a compelling excavation of resistance in South Asian women's writing.'

    Claire Chambers, Professor of Global Literature, University of York

    'Mirza's comprehensive take on what counts as "resistance" in Anglophone fiction by women writers from South Asia and its diaspora-not just its heroic manifestations but also its limits, its contradictions, its marginality and even its absence in the reality of women's lives-makes this a provocative theoretical inquiry into female agency. Resistance and its Discontents in South Asian Women's Fiction makes a major contribution to postcolonial criticism as well as feminist theory.'

    Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, Formerly Global Distinguished Professor, New York University

    'Maryam Mirza's new book is sure to become a major work of reference in the field of South Asian literary studies and of literature by (and on) women. Its breadth, depth, and level of detail are astonishing, and it offers a thoroughly new reboot of the genre of "resistance literature", by enlarging and complexifying the semantic reach of the term "resistance" beyond its current remit within contemporary fictional narratives.'

    Neelam Srivastava, Professor of Postcolonial and World Literature, Newcastle University

    This book is an examination of how English-language fiction by women writers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka has grappled with the idea and practice of resistance. A valuable, original and timely contribution to the field of South Asian literary and cultural studies, this book extends and complicates existing debates about the meanings of resistance. It brings to the fore not only the emancipatory potential of resistance, but also the contradictions that it can encompass as well as the anxieties that it can generate, particularly for women. Focusing on novels and short fiction, the book explores fiction by Arundhati Roy, Kamila Shamsie, Tahmima Anam, Jhumpa Lahiri, Manju Kapur and Ru Freeman, amongst others.

    Reviews

    'Maryam Mirza offers a provocative and nuanced discussion of resistance in postcolonial South Asian women's fiction and challenges the assumption that all such fiction is inherently resistant. She examines a range of South Asian women writers (resident and diasporic) including Arundhati Roy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kamila Shamsie, Meena Kandasamy among others to explore the complexities of resistance. She argues that many of these writers go beyond challenging patriarchal and familial oppression in their writing and question socio-economic structures that are intertwined with gendered oppression. Mirza's theorization of resistance is a substantive addition to feminist and postcolonial scholarship, and her rich readings of different literary texts make a valuable contribution to feminist literary studies.'
    Nalini Iyer, Professor of English, Seattle University

    'Resistance and its Discontents in South Asian Women's Fiction is a rigorous and impassioned exploration of the concept of resistance in postcolonial literary studies. Challenging prevailing pieties and misgivings about the relevance of resistance, this monograph engages with the complexities and contradictions inherent in the term. By examining South Asian women's fiction, the book explores wider emancipatory politics around gender, class, caste, sexuality, and identity. Mirza also uncovers the slippery nature of resistance, highlighting the concept's centrality to questions of power and oppression. This book is an essential contribution to the field of postcolonial studies and a compelling excavation of resistance in South Asian women's writing.'
    Claire Chambers, Professor of Global Literature, University of York

    'Maryam Mirza's exploration of resistance in Anglophone fiction by contemporary women writers from South Asia and its diaspora, is both wide-ranging and exploratory. Her thematic analysis and close reading of over a dozen works of fiction-novels but also short stories-yields rich critical insights. At the same time, her comprehensive take on what counts as "resistance" in these narratives-not just its heroic manifestations but also its limits, its contradictions, its marginality and even its absence in the reality of women's lives-makes this a provocative theoretical inquiry into female agency. Resistance and its Discontents in South Asian Women's Fiction makes a major contribution to postcolonial criticism as well as feminist theory.'
    Rajeswari Sunder Rajan Formerly Global Distinguished Professor, New York University

    'Maryam Mirza's new book makes a major contribution to scholarship in postcolonial/world literature and South Asian literature. It highlights how multifarious the notion of resistance can become in literary narratives, and thus helps to complicate Manichaeistic understandings of resistance as they tend to be conceived of in postcolonial studies. Its breadth, depth, and level of detail are astonishing, and it offers a powerful interpretation of contemporary South Asian women's fiction through a novel reconception of resistance as a hermeneutical framework to approach postcolonial literature. Mirza draws on an inter-disciplinary and wide-ranging array of critical and theoretical resources in postcolonial theory and political notions of the self, alongside text-specific readings of the fictions under discussion, weaving it all together into a persuasive and gripping critical narrative.'
    Neelam Srivastava, Professor of Postcolonial and World Literature, Newcastle University

    Contents

    Introduction: revisiting resistance (again)
    1 Resisting activism: the politics of apathy and disengagement in Difficult Daughters and Broken Verses
    2 Revolutionary love and the romance of resistance: Broken Verses, The Lowland, The God of Small Things and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
    3 'Ordinary' defiances and the short story
    4 Queering resistance: A Married Woman, Babyji and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
    5 Troubled resistance, troubling resistance: Homework, The Namesake and A Disobedient Girl
    6 Writing as resistance? A Golden Age, The Good Muslim and The Gypsy Goddess
    Epilogue: resisting idealising resistance

    Index

    Author

    Maryam Mirza is Associate Professor of South Asian Literature in the Department of English Studies at Durham University

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