Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

American, British and Canadian Studies

The Journal of Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu

2 Issues per year

Open Access
Online
ISSN
1841-964X
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Urban and Rural Narratives of Female Relocation in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Novels Queen of Dreams and The Mistress of Spices

Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru
Published Online: 2013-05-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/abcsj-2013-0005

Abstract

In today’s global world, the urban/ rural opposition is increasingly becoming a more relevant marker of the acculturation of foreigners whose adoption of national values is reflected by the spaces they inhabit. As they bring with them traditions related to the healing and balancing forces of the earth, immigrants prompt a reconsideration of the urban/ rural dichotomy in the metropolitan spaces they come to inhabit. Rural landscape in American culture has a long tradition of acting as a source of an alternative symbolic imaginary, responsible for boosting people’s feelings of patriotic commitment that are crucial to national integration. Diasporic American fiction has increasingly combined this tradition with symbolic magic and natural elements brought over from the “other” cultural backgrounds their authors come from. This paper aims to study the socio-political negotiations in a few instances of cultural translation within the urban/ rural dialectic in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s novels The Mistress of Spices and Queen of Dreams. I will suggest that Divakaruni’s female protagonists work their initial experience of dislocation into a discourse of nature and the earth free from boundaries, based on a rejection of urban alienation and the discovery of the reconciliatory potential of America’s nature.

Keywords : Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni; ecrocriticism; migrant; narrative; relocation; rural; urban; South Asian American; translation; transnational; women’s literature

  • Buell, Lawrence. The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, andthe Formation of American Culture. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1996. Print.Google Scholar

  • Cronin, Michael. Translation and Identity. London and New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.Google Scholar

  • Divakaruni, Chitra Banerjee. The Mistress of Spices. New York: Doubleday, 1997. Print.Google Scholar

  • - - -. Queen of Dreams. New York: Doubleday, 2004. Print.Google Scholar

  • Kumar, Amitava. “Louder than Bombs. Review.” Transition 79 (1999): 80-101. Print.Google Scholar

  • Momaday, N. Scott. The Way to Rainy Mountain. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1969. Print.Google Scholar

  • Mukherjee, Bharati. “Beyond Multiculturalism: Surviving the Nineties.” Multi-America: Essays on Cultural Wars and Cultural Peace. London and New York: Penguin, 1998. 454-461. Print.Google Scholar

  • Rushdie, Salman. Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991. London: Granta & Penguin, 1991. Print.Google Scholar

  • Vizenor, Gerald. “Almost Browne.” The Norton Anthology of AmericanLiterature. 6th ed. Ed. by Nina Baym. New York and London: Norton & Company, 2003. 2332-2337. Print.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2013-05-01

Published in Print: 2012-12-01


Citation Information: American, British and Canadian Studies Journal, Volume 19, Issue , Pages 77–86, ISSN (Print) 1841-964X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/abcsj-2013-0005.

Export Citation

This content is open access.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in