Peopling an Unaccustomed Earth with a New Generation: Jhumpa Lahiri’s Supreme Fictional Journey into Human Conditions


  • Neela Bhattacharya Saxena


Bengali literature, diasporic writing, feminism, generation, Gynocentric matrix, Jhumpa Lahiri, postcolonial studies


Using a theoretical framework derived from my ongoing engagement with what I have called a ‘Gynocentric matrix’ of Indic sensibility, along with James Hillman’s polytheistic psychology and Wallace Stevens’ notion of a Supreme Fiction, this paper offers a reading of Jhumpa Lahiri’s (b. 1967) short stories beyond postcolonial criticism. Stemming from a depth consciousness where life, living and death, joy, indifference and sorrow, generation, de/re-generation, and transformation are intricately intertwined, Lahiri’s fictional multiverse, opposed to universe, is peopled by a new generation of characters who speak to the soul of the reader, while in the process, she sculpts a reality that does not tolerate any homogenizing impulse in the name of an abstract unity.