International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 263

Article in Press

Migrating to the Hybrid Self in Meera Syal’s Anita and Me

IKRAM CHARF

  •  Received: 16 January 2017
  •  Accepted: 15 February 2017
In a world characterized by a state of constant flux and mobility, emerging South Asian migrant voices are offering a new and transcultural vision of identity that departs from the centre/margin dichotomy. In this context, this paper seeks to discuss the way second-generation South Asian women writers like Meera Syal manage to challenge the patriarchal structures of power, set their own routes and construct new cultural and political journeys. Syal’s first novel Anita and Me (1996) addresses issues such as race, gender and identity and focuses on the continuous crossing of ethnic and cultural boundaries. Actually, Anita and Me gives a different orientation from the novels of first-generation authors by re-visiting their stories of the dislocation of partition, arrival in Britain, and the different ways they have adapted to life in Britain through the eyes of Meena Kumar. Drawing on Homi Bhabha’s theory of hybridity and James Clifford’s notions of “roots” and “routes”, this paper attempts to focus on Meena’s creation of a third space that endows her with the power to appropriate a new diasporic identity and to explore the ability of the migrant to construct new forms of identity. Migration, in this sense, becomes a migration to a hybrid self which offers a multiplicity of routes that involve Meena’s agency in recreating a distinct culture in the host land.

Keywords: Mobility, migrant voices, South Asian women writers, Meera Syal, Anita and Me, migration, Homi Bhabha, James Clifford, hybridity, self.