Exploring Home and Homeland in Shani Mootoo’s Stories

Author Name

Medha Bhattacharyya


Homeland, Shani Mootoo


Home and homeland are words very dear to us. But these terms are more complex and complicated than they appear to be. ‘What is home?’ and ‘Where is the homeland?’ are problematic questions. It is even problematic to understand our bodies and where one belongs not just geographically but in terms of gender. Shani Mootoo, an Indo-Trinidadian Canadian writer, in her fiction depicts this complicated complexity of: Who one is? What is the gender of a person? How should gender identity be determined? Which country is one’s home or is it more than one country? Is home made of bricks? Is homeland a hyphenated identity? My paper will attempt to answer the above questions using the method of discourse analysis. The stories I will explore in this regard are “A Garden of Her Own”, “Sushila’s Bhakti”, “Out on Main Street”, and “The Upside-Downness of the World as it Unfolds”. It will be analyzed through the stories that home is always a state of flux: local and global, domestic and transnational, biological and cerebral, and microcosmic and macrocosmic. It will attempt to look into the nature of displacement, migration and gender identity of the protagonists of the stories. So, home is no longer time and space constant, it is time and space continuum.



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