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Volume 3 Issue 2

July 2017

Amnesiac Selves: The Dilemma of Nostalgia and Dislocation in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland
Mr. R. Marshal, 
Researcher, 
Post Graduate and Research Department of English, 
Fatima Mata National College, 
Kollam, Kerala, India

Mr. S. Sree Hari, 
Lecturer, 
Department of English, 
Institute of Distance Education, University of Kerala, 
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Abstract
Displacement and dispersion characterize the lives of many postcolonial authors writing from abroad. Postcolonial interventions in the form of cultural artefacts have destabilized the definitions of nationhood. This paper attempts to look into the dilemma of sense of identity and the cultural dislocation faced by the diasporic Indians in America as depicted in The Lowland, a fiction by Jhumpa Lahiri. The novel is about two brothers who come of age in the 1950s and 60s in the city of Calcutta. When one of the brothers becomes involved in the Naxalite movement in the late 1960s, their paths diverge and one of them goes to the United States and the other one stays behind to take part in the movement. The text is about the consequences of each of their choices. Being both a migrant and diasporic writer, she creates a narrative that reveals the concept of identity and cultural difference in the space of diaspora. In the light of this framework, the paper attempts to explain how Lahiri put forward the concept of nation-space as to accommodate cultural difference and redrawing the frontiers how the nations have become “the cross roads to a new transnational culture”. The ‘imaginary’ as any ethnic enclave is a nation-state that defines itself as a group in displacement.
Keywords
Diaspora; Quest for Identity; Cultural Dislocation; Cultural Assimilation.
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Progressive Publishers is a novice publishing enterprise located at Tranquebar, Tamilnadu, India. It primarily publishes university text-books for efficient English language learning and an online scholarly journal entitled Literary Quest. Its primary goal is to promote progressive, secular, socialist and egalitarian thoughts among academicians, researchers and students of English literature. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Social Justice are the ideals upon which the whole enterprise rests.