Writing Sri Lanka : Literature, Resistance & the Politics of Place book cover
1st Edition

Writing Sri Lanka
Literature, Resistance & the Politics of Place

ISBN 9780415653435
Published November 1, 2012 by Routledge
232 Pages

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Book Description

Focusing on ways in which cultural nationalism has influenced both the production and critical reception of texts, Salgado presents a detailed analysis of eight leading Sri Lankan writers - Michael Ondaatje, Romesh Gunasekera, Shyam Selvadurai, A. Sivanandan, Jean Arasanayagam, Carl Muller, James Goonewardene and Punyakante Wijenaike – to rigorously challenge the theoretical, cultural and political assumptions that pit ‘insider’ against ‘outsider’, ‘resident’ against ‘migrant’ and the ‘authentic’ against the ‘alien’. By interrogating the discourses of territoriality and boundary marking that have come into prominence since the start of the civil war, Salgado works to define a more nuanced and sensitive critical framework that actively reclaims marginalized voices and draws upon recent studies in migration and the diaspora to reconfigure the Sri Lankan critical terrain.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements.  Introduction  Part 1.  1. Literature and Territoriality: Boundary Marking as a Critical Paradigm  Part 2  2. Allegorical Islands  3. Spectral Spaces  4. Fugitive Selves  5. Genealogical Maps  Part 3  6. Border Dialogues  7. Place as Palimpsest  8. Past Paradise  9. Conclusion: Destinations  Notes.  Select Bibliography.  Index

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Minoli Salgado teaches English at the University of Sussex. She has published widely in postcolonial studies, particularly on migration and postmodernity in literature of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora.


"This is the most significant work on Sri Lankan English-language literature to date, combining impressive scholarship with perceptive analysis, nuanced evaluation and carefully balanced comment." Confluence 

"Represents the most stimulating, perceptive and intellectually rigorous book-length study to date of this critically under-researched area of postcolonial literatures in English." - Interventions

"...an excellent and much-needed contribution – well-written, insightful, and thorough." - Chelva Kanaganayakam, University of Toronto

"Beautifully argued, intricately composed." --Meena Alexander, Wasafiri