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South Asian Writers, Latin American Literature, and the Rise of Global English

Cambridge University Press

Ever since T.B. Macaulay leveled the accusation in 1835 that 'a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India,' South Asian literature has served as the imagined battleground between local linguistic multiplicity and a rapidly globalizing English. In response to this endless polemic, Indian and Pakistani writers set out in another direction altogether. They made an unexpected journey to Latin America. The cohort of authors that moved between these regions include Latin-American Nobel laureates Pablo Neruda and Octavio Paz; Booker Prize notables Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Mohammed Hanif, and Mohsin Hamid. In their explorations of this new geographic connection, Roanne Kantor claims that they formed the vanguard of a new, multilingual world literary order. Their encounters with Latin America fundamentally shaped the way in which literature written in English from South Asia exploded into popularity from the 1980s until the mid-2000s, enabling its global visibility.

About the Author

Roanne Kantor's primary field is Global Anglophone literature and its relationship to other literary traditions of the Global South. She also works on the conditions for interdisciplinary research in the humanities, especially literature's interface with medicine and the humanistic social sciences. Kantor is also a translator and the winner of the Susan Sontag Prize for Translation. Before coming to Stanford, Kantor taught at Harvard, Boston University, Brandeis, and The University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her Masters and Ph.D.

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