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Culinary Fictions: Food in South Asian…

Culinary Fictions: Food in South Asian Diasporic Culture (American… (2010)

by Anita Mannur

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"It is difficult, if not impossible, to think of immigrant Indian existence in the United States without at the same time thinking of of Indian food."
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On December 12, 2003, Lalit Mansingh, a former ambassador to the United States, delivered a speech to a crowd of Indian Americans at the annual awards banquet of the weekly news magazine India Abroad.
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Anita Mannur’s forthcoming book, Culinary Fictions: Food in South Asian Diasporic Culture (Temple University Press) is one of the first full-length studies of food in the South Asian diasporic cultural imagination. The book provides food for thought as it considers the metaphors literature, film, and TV shows use to describe Indians abroad. The book considers food to be a central part of the cultural imagination of diasporic populations, and maps how it figures in various expressive forms. The book examines cultural production from the Anglo-American reaches of the South Asian diaspora, ranging from novels—Chitra Divakaruni’s Mistress of Spices and Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night—and cookbooks such as Madhur Jaffrey’s Invitation to Indian Cooking and Padma Lakshmi’s Easy Exotic, in order to illustrate how national identities are consolidated in culinary terms. From Miami University's website.
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An exploration of how and why food matters in the culture and literature of the South Asian diaspora.

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