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The Mimic (Wo)man ‘Writes Back’: Anita Desai’s In Custody

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This article aims to trace the articulation of resistance in terms of gender and the postcolonial condition in Anita Desai’s In Custody (1984). As one of the most prominent post-Independence Indian writers of her time, Anita Desai has been a strong voice in portraying the Indian domestic sphere. Accordingly, one of the main concerns of Desai’s novels has been the representation of women and their struggles against patriarchal and colonial oppression. Though promising in many aspects, the political Independence of 1947 failed to unburden women from the ideal visions of womanhood promoted both by traditional community and colonialists in India. The present study focuses on the portrayal of women and female instances of resistance and the spaces through which they manage to survive in a male-dominated Post-Independence Indian society. Since the 1980s, Homi K. Bhabha has opened up a wide variety of critical issues fundamental to the understanding of colonial and post-colonial condition. His theorization of the idea of ‘mimicry’ is used in order to explore the socio-cultural interrelations Desai’s novel seeks to reveal.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 27)
P. Arasteh and H. Pirnajmuddin, "The Mimic (Wo)man ‘Writes Back’: Anita Desai’s In Custody", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 27, pp. 57-66, 2014
Online since:
May 2014

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