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South Asian Writers in Twentieth-Century BritainCulture in Translation$
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Ruvani Ranasinha

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199207770

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199207770.001.0001

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Writing Back, Re-writing Britain: Farrukh Dhondy and Salman Rushdie

Writing Back, Re-writing Britain: Farrukh Dhondy and Salman Rushdie

(p.186) 4 Writing Back, Re-writing Britain: Farrukh Dhondy and Salman Rushdie
South Asian Writers in Twentieth-Century Britain

Ruvani Ranasinha

Oxford University Press

The mass immigration of the 1950s and 1960s changed the dynamics of British culture and created new audiences. Later writers from South Asia were more confident in self-consciously writing against the terms of dominant culture. Most prominent amongst these was Salman Rushdie, who contested stereotypical representations of India and of ethnic minorities in Britain in his fiction and criticism. This chapter considers Rushdie alongside the figure of Farrukh Dhondy, who began his career in Britain as a political activist. Their work is examined primarily in terms of the way they straddle the concerns of both first and second-generation writers. Rushdie's first three novels embody the movement from colonialism and anti-colonialism towards a project of re-writing multicultural Britain. Dhondy's early stories and plays form a transformative bridge between writing back and re-writing Britain in another way. They map out themes of generational conflict and class tensions within British Asian communities as well as the topical, vexed debates on the appropriate response to racism, particularly the role of violence in the anti-racist struggle.

Keywords:   Salman Rushdie, Britain, immigration, Farrukh Dhondy, India, colonialism, anti-colonialism, generational conflict, racism, violence

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