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Reading the postcolonial island in Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide.


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Fletcher, LM 2011 , 'Reading the postcolonial island in Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide.' , Island Studies Journal, vol. 6, no. 1 , pp. 3-16 .

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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 Morichjhãpi 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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Fletcher, LM
Keywords: Amitav Ghosh, island studies, literature, Morichjhãpi, Sundarbans, The Hungry Tide
Journal or Publication Title: Island Studies Journal
ISSN: 1715-2593
Additional Information:

Copyright © 2011 Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada - This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution: Non-Commercial, No Derivative Works 3.0

Unported License.

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