South and Southeast Asian Literature displays the literary imagination and linguistic inventiveness of writers who are negotiating life in a transnational world and multiple cultural identities.
Scholars of literature, anthropology, linguistics, postcolonial theory and criticism, history, politics, and culture will find the collection rich in insights into modern experiences and their traditional connections. Searchable all together for the first time are 100,000 pages of fiction, short fiction, poems, interviews, and manuscript materials, written in English from the end of the colonial era to the present.
One of the most exciting elements in the collection is the interplay of literary traditions. Influences as disparate as the Mahabharata and Charles Dickens are evident even in the same piece. Postmodern literary techniques help tell ancient stories, and contemporary political parables are teased out of classic epics from the oral tradition. Some of the authors use formal English, while others play with the boundaries of language, merging English prefixes with local words or phrases, or writing English in the cadences of local languages.
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