Extrapolation

An Alien Nation

Postcoloniality and the Alienated Subject in Vandana Singh's Science Fiction

Extrapolation (2012), 53, (3), 283–306.

Abstract

One major theme in recent Anglophone Indian science fiction is the specter of an alienated postcolonial subject caught in the flux of historical eddies. Such subjects are torn by the forces of a rapid industrial progress, caught in the lure of immigrating to the "first world" and by the traps of traditional Indian values, resulting in severe anxiety and multilevel alienation. Vandana Singh uses science fictional strategies to make the reader confront these estrangements from a different perspective that is less constrained than realistic narrative. Singh's narratives also seek alternatives to such alienated existences through radical estrangements of normal space and time, probably suggesting that only a radical shift in social consciousness can engender a hope for dis-alienation of these marginalized subjects.

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Ahluwalia, Pal. "When Does a Settler Become a Native?: Citizenship and Identity in a Settler Society." Postcolonialisms: An Anthology of Cultural Theory and Criticism. Ed. Gaurav Desai and Supriya Nair. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2005. 500-13. Print. Postcolonialisms: An Anthology of Cultural Theory and Criticism 500 13 Google Scholar

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Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge, 1994. Print. The Location of Culture Google Scholar

Bukatman, Scott. Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 1993. Print. Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction Google Scholar

"Census of India 2011." Economic Times. 31 March 2011 http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-0331/news/29366142_1_literacy-rate-centage-pointsmales Google Scholar

Clarke, Arthur Charles. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Arrow Books, 1968. Print. 2001: A Space Odyssey Google Scholar

Gandhi, Leela. Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction. New York: Columbia UP, 1998. Print. Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction Google Scholar

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Lefanu, Sarah. Feminism and Science Fiction. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1989. Print. Feminism and Science Fiction Google Scholar

Loomba, Ania. Colonialism/Postcolonialism. The New Critical Idiom. 2nd ed. London/New York: Routledge, 2005. Print. Colonialism/Postcolonialism. The New Critical Idiom Google Scholar

Pearson, Wendy. "Alien Cryptographies: The View from Queer." Science Fiction Studies 26.77 (1999). >http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/77/pearson77.htm>. Web. http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/77/pearson77.htm Alien Cryptographies: The View from Queer Science Fiction Studies 26 Google Scholar

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Singh, Vandana. Of Love and Other Monsters. Conversation Pieces. Ed. L. Timmel Duchamp. Vol. 18. Seattle: Aqueduct Press, 2007. Print. Of Love and Other Monsters. Conversation Pieces 18 Google Scholar

Singh, Vandana. The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet. New Delhi: Penguin Books, Zubaan, 2008. Print. The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet Google Scholar

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. "A Critique of Post Colonial Reason [Can the Subaltern Speak?]." The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch. New York: Norton, 2001. 2197-208. Print. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism 2197 208 Google Scholar

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. "A Literary Representation of the Subaltern: A Woman's Text from the Third World." In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics. New York: Methuen, 1987. 241-68. Print. In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics 241 68 Google Scholar

Tiptree Jr., James. "The Women Men Don't See." The Norton Book of Science Fiction: North American Science Fiction, 1960-1990. Ed. Ursula K. Le Guin and Brian Attebery. New York: Norton, 1993. 255-80. Print. The Norton Book of Science Fiction: North American Science Fiction, 1960-1990 255 80 Google Scholar

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Bannerjee, Suparno