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Reading the Postcolonial Island in Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide


Fletcher, L, Reading the Postcolonial Island in Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide, Island Studies Journal, 6, (1) pp. 3-16. ISSN 1715-2593 (2011) [Refereed Article]


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This paper argues that literature has much to contribute to the theoretical work of island studies, and not just because literary texts provide evidence of the ways islands are conceptualized in different historical and cultural contexts. To this end, it discusses Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide (2004), a novel which actively theorizes key concepts in island studies. The Hungry Tide is set in the Sundarbans, an "immense archipelago" in the Ganges delta, and tells the largely forgotten history of the forced evacuation of refugees from the island of Morichjhăpi in 1979. The liminal space of the Sundarbans, the "tide country", is an extraordinary setting for a literary exploration of the relationship between postcolonial island geographies and identities. Ghosh’s depiction of the "watery labyrinth" (Ghosh, 2004: 72) and "storm-tossed islands" (Ghosh, 2004: 164) of the Sundarbans raises and addresses questions, which should be at the heart of the critical meta-discourse of island studies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Amitav Ghosh, island studies, literature, Morichjhăpi, Sundarbans, The Hungry Tide
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Other literatures in English
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Fletcher, L (Professor Lisa Fletcher)
ID Code:70442
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:2011-06-21
Last Modified:2018-03-13
Downloads:342 View Download Statistics

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