Renegotiating Diasporic Identity: A Transnational Reading of Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland.

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Date: Summer 2021
Publisher: Vishvanatha Kaviraja Institute of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 4,695 words

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Abstract :

Gauri Mitra is an American immigrant from India as well as a brilliant professor of Philosophy in Jhumpa Lahiri's novel The Lowland (2013). She embodies the concept of an unconventional femininity. Gauri's character defies the usual characteristics of Indian women in general of her time, a time that goes back to the 1960s-70s. Gauri reverses the role of a wife and a mother by embracing the role of an individual devoted to academic pursuits and personal achievements. As a further reversal of her gender role she engages in lesbianism at a certain stage of her life. Her character contains possibilities that can be analyzed to reveal a new woman having the prospect of becoming an example of transnational feminism. This article analyzes Gauri's character based on the idea of transnational feminism as established by Inderpal Grewal in the book Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms. However, other ideas such as neo-cosmopolitanism and queer sexuality, ideas which are associated with transnational feminism are also explored in the article in order to understand the multiplicity of identity that the female protagonist of The Lowland possesses. Keywords: Immigrant, transnational feminism, cosmopolitanism, multiplicity of identity

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A679888287