In this Book

How to Be South Asian in America
summary

Providing a useful analysis of and framework for understanding immigration and assimilation narratives, anupama jain's How to Be South Asian in America considers the myth of the American Dream in fiction (Meena Alexander's Manhattan Music), film (American Desi, American Chai), and personal testimonies. By interrogating familiar American stories in the context of more supposedly exotic narratives, jain illuminates complexities of belonging that also reveal South Asians' anxieties about belonging, (trans)nationalism, and processes of cultural interpenetration.

jain argues that these stories transform as well as reflect cultural processes, and she shows just how aspects of identity—gender, sexual, class, ethnic, national—are shaped by South Asians' accommodation of and resistance to mainstream American culture.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-29
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  1. 1. Reading Assimilation and the American Dream as Transnational Narratives
  2. pp. 30-78
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  1. 2. They Came on Buses: “GuyaneseOpportunities” as a Contemporary Americanization Program
  2. pp. 79-131
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  1. 3. “Stretched over Dark Femaleness”: Three South Asian Novels of Americanization
  2. pp. 132-186
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  1. 4. “How to Be Indian”: Independent Films about Second-Generation South Asian Americans
  2. pp. 187-226
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  1. Conclusion: Ambivalent Americanization and South Asian Narratives of Belonging in Diaspora
  2. pp. 227-231
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 233-250
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 251-269
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 271-279
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