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Postcolonial EcologiesLiteratures of the Environment$
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Elizabeth DeLoughrey and George B. Handley

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195394429

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195394429.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

Cultivating Community

Cultivating Community

Counterlandscaping in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss

(p.43) 1 Cultivating Community
Postcolonial Ecologies

Jill Didur

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a reading of Kiran Desai’s 2006 novel The Inheritance of Loss and examines its depiction of the Himalayan environment. It examines how colonial representations of the British “hill stations” of the Himalayas as Gardens of Eden are transformed by Desai in her novel to provide a “counterlandscaping” of colonial fantasies as well as the separatist demands of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF). It also describes the queering of the Himalayan landscape that gives rise to a postcolonial ecology in terms of a contingent model of community. Finally, the chapter discusses how The Inheritance of Loss displaces normalized notions of the land, gardens, and nature.

Keywords:   hill stations, Himalayas, Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss, counterlandscaping, Gorkha National Liberation Front, postcolonial ecology, community, land, nature

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