5 books by Diaspora authors that will make you fall in love with reading
The term 'Diaspora' means dispersion or divergence of human population from their homeland to various parts of the world. Diaspora literature compiles the work of such people. Now you must be wondering , why should anyone read such books? Well, diaspora literature is an amalgamation of various cultures, art forms and are usually rich in diversity. Not only this, it also gives a vivid image of the author's homeland.
Diaspora literature is a vast yet inclusive concept. There are several works that radiate the feeling of home but sprinkled with lots of new , diverse cultures. Some prominent names of Diasporan authors are- Jhumpa Lahiri, Min jin lee, Khaled Hosseini, Mohsin Hamid, Chitra Banerjee and many others. I have compiled some of the best works so far. You can acknowledge their work by reading them.
1. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri tops my list. Her works are rich in indian culture and her writing style is impressive.
𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒏𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒔𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒑𝒍𝒆 , 𝑨𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒌𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑨𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒎𝒂 , 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝑪𝒂𝒎𝒃𝒓𝒊𝒅𝒈𝒆 𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒅. 𝑨𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒎𝒂 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒈𝒈𝒍𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒅𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒄𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒉𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝑪𝒂𝒍𝒄𝒖𝒕𝒕𝒂. 𝑺𝒉𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒏, 𝒈𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒃𝒊𝒓𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒐 𝑮𝒐𝒈𝒐𝒍 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑺𝒐𝒏𝒊𝒂 , 𝒅𝒆𝒗𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒖𝒑𝒃𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒊𝒏𝒈.𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚 𝒎𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝑮𝒐𝒈𝒐𝒍 ,𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒕𝒂𝒈𝒐𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒕 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒔𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒕𝒚.
The author succeeds in drawing a detailed description of one 's individuality, culture and longing for their native land. The book highlights identity, generational gap and relationships from a very close point of view. The plot is interesting and the language is beginner friendly. It's an amazing book.
'Pachinko' is a multigenerational family saga, interweaving three generations. The book talks about war, family and love and identity. No matter how hard Sunja's son tried to wipe out his national identity, he failed. The stories about colonization not only talks about the political scenario of one country, but also highlights how human relationships are adversely affected. All we can do is acknowledge them. Talk about them and feel empathy.
Every character in the book will surely leave a mark on your heart. It's a must read for everybody.
3. The henna artist by Alka Joshi
𝑰𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒅 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒅 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈.𝑬𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒚𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒔𝒉 𝒍𝒆𝒇𝒕 , 𝒘𝒆 𝒏𝒐𝒘 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒇𝒓𝒆𝒆 𝒈𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒏𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒔𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒍𝒔, 𝒓𝒖𝒏𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒑𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒅 𝒓𝒐𝒂𝒅𝒔. 𝑩𝒖𝒕 𝑱𝒂𝒊𝒑𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒇𝒆𝒍𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒆 𝒂𝒔 𝒊𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒆𝒏 𝒚𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒂𝒈𝒐, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝒊 𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒕𝒔 𝒅𝒖𝒔𝒕𝒚 𝒔𝒐𝒊𝒍"
The protagonist Lakshmi had a terrible past- a tormenting husband, poor parents who married her off at the age of 15 due to poverty and many more. One day she eloped, leaving behind her woes, to be her own master. Her family was put to shame and everything fell apart, that they had to travel miles to fetch water. But the past is a part of us that forever lingers, neither can be erased nor forgotten. When she was few feets away from her fulfilling dream, the "uninvited guest" knocks on her door. She encounters her sister Radha, who she never knew existed. How will lakshmi react? And a final blow, shatters her life and she loses everything she had . Will she be able to start from the scratch or will she give up?
The book talks about the journey of both the sisters , and all the pain they endure. The story highlights casteism, elitism, and all the sufferings a woman faces in her life. Where giving birth to a child is considered virility and otherwise, it is represented as "less of a woman" that existed back then and still exists in some parts of our country.
4. Good Talk by Mira Jacob
It is a graphic novel which makes it more interesting. The book talks about racism, interracial marriages and the insecurities about losing one's identity. Imagine an Indian growing up in America, married to an American and your child's questions make you question your own identity, race and nationality. His questions make you rethink the decisions you made, chose and now you regret it. How hard would it be for you to make him understand that it's okay that your father is white and mother brown. That colour doesn't make families.
The questions always seem like a basic one. As simple as " why is my skin brown ?" But what will you answer? Will your answers quench his curiosity ? The book talks about basic yet utterly important aspects of life. It deals with nationality , sexuality and maternal experiences. The graphics makes the book an interesting read.
5. And the mountains echoed by Khaled Hosseini.
The book revolves around the relationship of a brother and a sister; Abdullah and Pari, their tragic separation and how the universe conspires them to meet at last. Along with them, the book also pinpoints various characters entangled loosely with them.
One thing that I loved about the book is , every character has a story of their own;their struggles which makes the book more interesting.
Abdullah,being a child himself, was more a mother to his sister Pari . When Pari was adopted by Wahadatis, he was devastated yet he accepted his fate. This made me realise to accept the situation no matter how hard it may be.
His father Saboor, step mother Parwana and all the other characters have their own stories of guilts and burdens ,which are equally tragic and heart touching in the single book. So that's a plus point.
Along with the storyline, the authors play and trick people with the history of Afghanistan , freedom struggle , and hardships during those times. When the story takes a leap, the scenario of the country after freedom is vividly shown.
The book is bombarded with agony , emotions, love and struggle in every corner. Storytelling is on point and keeps the reader glued. The language is simple ; anyone can read it. All in all, Husseini and his writings do wonders. I suggest everyone read this.
The books mentioned above will surely make you fall in love with reading.