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Where the Water is.

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Item Summary

Title:Where the Water is.
Authors:Roy, Anjoli
Contributors:English (department)
Keywords:creative nonfiction
family narratives
Indian American
mixed-race
illness narratives
Date Issued:Dec 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:In 2013, Anjoli Roy discovered a family secret that shouldn’t have been a secret at all: her great
grandfather’s friendship with Mahatma Gandhi. As she struggles to make sense of this hidden
part of her family’s past, Roy must also navigate her complicated relationship with her
conservative Bengali father, her white mother, and the southern California community that
doesn’t know what to make of her biracial family. This uncovered secret launches a hunt for
buried family histories that features the enduring presence of ancestors in our lives, the
connection between hereditary illnesses and intergenerational traumas, and the mystery of why
some stories get passed down while others are suppressed.
This creative nonfiction collection features stories of growing up ambiguously brown in
southern California, chronic illnesses that connect us to long-gone family members, the narrow
threshold between birth and death, and a roots journey to India to recover the story of a greatgrandfather
turned freedom fighter who was at risk of being forgotten. These stories ask how
family narratives define us, what happens when stories are buried and what happens when they
are dug up, and how the legacies of colonization, imprisonment, emigration, participation in the
US military, domestic violence, suicide, and racism lodge in descendants’ psyches and bodies.
Roy’s narrative suggests that rebuilding familial connections through learning these stories may
be the key to healing.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62415
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - English


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