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Jazzy, Jyoti, Jase and Jane

Candia McWilliam, 10 May 1990

Jasmine 
by Bharati Mukherjee.
Virago, 241 pp., £12.95, April 1990, 1 85381 061 4
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Meatless Days 
by Sara Suleri.
Collins, 186 pp., £12.95, April 1990, 0 00 215408 0
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... Jasmine is the novel which grew from a short story in Bharati Mukherjee’s collection The Middleman. Meatless Days is the autobiography (though an unusually oblique one) of Sara Suleri, the daughter of a Welsh mother and the Pakistani editor and journalist Z.A. Suleri. Both writers now teach at American universities ...

Other People

Dinah Birch, 6 July 1989

The Middleman, and Other Stories 
by Bharati Mukherjee.
Virago, 197 pp., £11.95, June 1989, 1 85381 058 4
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The Burning Boys 
by John Fuller.
Chatto, 128 pp., £10.95, June 1989, 9780701134648
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Termination Rock 
by Gillian Freeman.
Pandora, 182 pp., £12.95, June 1989, 0 04 440352 6
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Blackground 
by Joan Aiken.
Gollancz, 254 pp., £11.95, June 1989, 0 575 04502 7
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... sense of safety. No writer is less willing to permit the solace of these soothing reflections than Bharati Mukherjee. The Middleman, and Other Stories, her forceful new collection, engages with a disturbing diversity of racial and cultural confrontations. Their shifting designs repeatedly juxtapose the cultural relativity of belief and judgment ...

Homo Narrator

Inga Clendinnen, 16 March 2000

Mirror Talk: Genres of Crisis in Contemporary Autobiography 
by Susanna Egan.
North Carolina, 275 pp., £39.95, September 1999, 0 8078 4782 8
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... embodying collective reality past and present, family and community’. (Egan is in fact quoting Bharati Mukherjee here.) By contrast, I found her chapter on ‘Literary Pyrotechnics: Finding the Subject among the Smoke and the Mirrors’ which focuses on Breyten Breyten-bach’s Mouroir and the autobiographical athletics of Mary Meigs wearyingly ...

Prada Queen

Elaine Showalter: Shopping, 10 August 2000

Shopping for Pleasure: Women in the Making of London’s West End 
by Erika Diane Rappaport.
Princeton, 323 pp., £21.95, January 2000, 0 691 04477 5
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... become the place of choice to meet for immigrant housewives with a sense of self,’ the novelist Bharati Mukherjee observes. ‘Driving to the mall is itself an empowering adventure. Not to be at home, cooking for husband and children? Not to be ministering to husband’s mother? To be so selfish? Back in India most women didn’t expect to earn a ...

Get a Real Degree

Elif Batuman, 23 September 2010

The Programme Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing 
by Mark McGurl.
Harvard, 480 pp., £25.95, April 2009, 978 0 674 03319 1
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... what they know and others to find their voices, but he comes close to it during a discussion of Bharati Mukherjee’s essay ‘Immigrant Writing: Give Us Your Maximalists!’ (1988). Mukherjee, an Iowa graduate who writes about Bengali Americans, claims perspectival mobility ‘as the special property of the ...

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