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UnfastenedGlobality and Asian North American Narratives$
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Eleanor Ty

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665075

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665075.001.0001

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Shape-shifters and Disciplined Bodies: Feminist Tactics, Science Fiction, and Fantasy

Shape-shifters and Disciplined Bodies: Feminist Tactics, Science Fiction, and Fantasy

Chapter:
(p.89) 5 Shape-shifters and Disciplined Bodies: Feminist Tactics, Science Fiction, and Fantasy
Source:
Unfastened
Author(s):

Eleanor Ty

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816665075.003.0005

This chapter studies Asian American Chitra Divakaruni’s The Mistress of Spices and Asian Canadian Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl. These novels use magic realism and fantasy as a primary way to challenge and critique normative and culturally dominant views of the feminine body, globalization, race, and technology. Both novels feature female protagonists who are shape-shifters and are endowed with the ability to transcend geographical as well as temporal boundaries. Divakaruni and Lai create multiple-world structures that enable readers to read the novels “dialogically” by blurring the division between fantasy and reality, and between traditional practices and science. The novels provide strong commentaries on and feminist alternatives to global capitalism, contemporary affective ties, and the ways people conduct sexual, romantic, and race relations in the community.

Keywords:   Chitra Divakaruni, The Mistress of Spices, Larissa Lai, Salt Fish Girl, magic realism, fantasy, shape-shifters, multiple-world structures, globalization

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