This study, drawing upon contemporary theories in the field of migration, postcolonialism, and translation, offers an analysis of literary works by Monica Ali (of Bangladeshi origins) and Jhumpa Lahiri (of Bengali Indian parents). Ali and Lahiri epitomize second-generation immigrant literature, play with the linguistic concept of translating and interpreting as forms of hybrid connections, and are significant examples of how a text may become a space where multi-faceted identities co-habit in a process of deconstructing and reconstructing their own sense of emplacement in non-native places.
Each immigrant text becomes a hybrid site, where second- and third generations of immigrant subjects move as mobile, fluctuating and impermanent identities, caught up in the act of transmitting their bicultural and bilingual experience through the use of the English language as their instrument of communication in a universe which tends to marginalize them.
This investigation seeks to demonstrate how Ali and Lahiri represent two different migrant experiences, Muslim and Indian, each of which functioning within a multicultural Anglo-American context. Each text is transformed into the lieu where identities become both identities-intranslation and translated identities and each text itself may be looked at as the site of preservation of native identities but also of the assimilation (or adaptation) of identity. Second-generation immigrant women writers become the interpreters of the old and new cultures, the translators of their own local cultures in a space of transition.
Ali, Monica. Brick Lane. London: Black Swan, 2003. Print.
Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist. Austin: U of Texas P, 1981. Print.
Balirano, Giuseppe. “Indian Diasporic Aesthetics as a Form of Translation.” Anglistica 12.2 (2008): 87-96. Print.
Chamber, Iain. Migrancy, Culture, Identity. London: Routledge, 2004. Print.
Cronin, Michael. Translation and Identity. Abingdon: Routledge, 2006. Print.
Hutcheon, Linda, and Marion Richmond, eds. Other Solitudes: Canadian Multicultural Fictions. Toronto: Oxford UP, 1990. Print.
Král, Françoise. Critical Identities in Contemporary Anglophone Diasporic Literature. London: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009. Print.
Lahiri, Jhumpa. “Interpreter of Maladies.” Interpreter of Maladies. London: Flamingo, 1999. 43-69. Print.
---. “Intimate Alienation: Immigrant Fiction and Translation.” Translation, Text and Theory: The Paradigm of India. Ed. Rukmini B. Nair. New Delhi: Sage, 2002. 113-20. Print.
---. The Namesake. New York: Houghton, 2003. Print.
---. “The Third and Final Continent.” Interpreter of Maladies. London: Flamingo, 1999. 173-98. Print.
Levi, André, and Alex Weingrod, eds. Homelands and Diasporas: Holy Lands and Other Places. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2005. Print.
Malena, A. “Presentation.” TTR. 16.2 (2003): 9-13. Print.
Palusci, Oriana. “The Elephant and the Refrigerator: Jhumpa Lahiri as Interpreter of Maladies.” Anglistica 12.2 (2008): 121-31. Print.
Skinner, John. The Stepmother Tongue: An Introduction to New Anglophone Fiction. New York: St Martin’s, 1998. Print.
Tan, Kathy A. “‘Caught between Worlds’: The Clash of Cultures and of Generations in the Work of Monica Ali, Jhumpa Lahiri and Zadie Smith.” Territorial Terrors Contested Spaces in Colonial and Postcolonial Writing. Ed. Gerhard Stilz. Würzburg: Königshausen, 2007. 227-28. Print.