© 2016

Contemporary Diasporic South Asian Women's Fiction

Gender, Narration and Globalisation


About this book


This book is the first comparative analysis of a new generation of diasporic  Anglophone South Asian women novelists including Kiran Desai, Tahmima Anam, Monica Ali, Kamila Shamsie and Jhumpa Lahiri from a feminist perspective. It charts the significant changes these writers have produced in postcolonial and contemporary women’s fiction since the late 1990s. Paying careful attention to the authors’ distinct subcontinental backgrounds of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – as well as India - this study destabilises the central place given to fiction focused on India. It broadens the customary focus on diasporic writers’ metropolitan contexts, illuminates how these transnational, female-authored literary texts challenge national assumptions and considers the ways in which this new configuration of transnational, feminist writers produces a postcolonial feminist discourse, which differs from Anglo-American feminism.


South Asia Diaspora Gender Feminism Women's writing Globalistation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishKing's College LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Ruvani Ranasinha is a Reader in Postcolonial Literatures in the Department of English, King s College London

Bibliographic information


“The book examines the interlinkages of gender with the narratives of a globalised world, each existing in a complex relationship with nation-states, their imaginaries, and with cognate concepts of rootedness and belonging. … Ranasinha’s book is thus an important intervention in the critical debates around the political purchase of diasporic, transnational, and cosmopolitan writing.” (Divya Mehta, Textual Practice, Vol. 32 (6), 2018)

“Ranasinha’s study, by fulfilling her promise of breadth across subcontinental and diasporic locations, enables future work that can then situate more extensive thematic readings within the frame she establishes. … studies advance feminist, postcolonial and literary studies through inclusion of postcolonial realism’s contributions to discussions of intimacy, form and space in South Asian women’s fiction.” (Anna Thomas, Interventions, Vol. 19 (3), 2017)

“Ruvani Ranasinha’s new book provides an important re-evaluation of South Asian women writers, combining readings of canonical authors such as Arundhati Roy, Monica Ali and Kamila Shamsie with lesser-known figures such as Sorayya Khan and Tahmima Anam. … this book will undoubtedly prove to be a cornerstone critical text for the future development of postcolonial studies.” (Dominic Davies, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 2017)