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British Asian FictionTwenty-first Century Voices$
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Sara Upstone

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719078323

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719078323.001.0001

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Ravinder Randhawa

Ravinder Randhawa

(p.62) 3 Ravinder Randhawa
British Asian Fiction

Sara Upstone

Manchester University Press

Born in India in 1952 but raised in Warwickshire from the age of seven, Ravinder Randhawa operated under the radar of mainstream literary criticism. Well-known, however, within the Asian writing community, and to feminists, she was essential to the burgeoning British Asian literature. As a founder of the Asian Women Writers' Workshop, Randhawa not only wrote prolifically about the lives of British Asian women, but also fostered the careers of others, including Meera Syal. Her fiction, its focus on themes of generational difference, the domestic and economic exploitation of women, and the often dark comedy of women's lives, has been highly influential on the women authors who have followed. In order to explore the unique way Randhawa engages with British Asian identity, this chapter relies upon the theoretical ideas of gender critic Judith Butler, and also examines the extent to which it is more useful to consider Randhawa's writing in terms of gender rather than ethnicity.

Keywords:   Ravinder Randhawa, British Asian literature, identity, ethnicity, gender, Judith Butler, women, women authors, Asian Women Writers

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