Haircut : stories from Nepal

Adiga, Ranjan
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2013]
My doctoral dissertation, Haircut: Stories from Nepal, is a collection of short stories set in contemporary Kathmandu, Nepal. My goal is to explore the lives of ordinary Nepalis grappling for meaning in a changing society. Caught as they are in the rapidly transforming socio-political map of Kathmandu, my characters battle through issues of tradition and modernity, the individual and society. Capturing the complex lives of people within the limited confines of a story challenges and excites me. Stylistically, I'm indebted to R.K. Narayan and Chinua Achebe, among others. I try to capture the rhythm and resonance of the Nepali language in my fiction, which calls for a certain "refashioning" of the English language. Besides translating vernacular idioms into English, I also experiment with syntax to create a narrative voice that is natural to its surrounding. The practice of interpreting Nepali culture in the English language makes me constantly reevaluate the flexibilities of language and narrative structure. In a concluding chapter of the dissertation, I attempt to explore the aesthetic and ideological implications of indigenizing the English language by writers of Indian and African origins. I believe it is crucial for my growth as a writer to be engaged in critical discussions about the politics of language-choice, particularly within the framework of postcolonial fiction. As a writer from Nepal I don't write about a postcolonial experience, but in choosing to write in English, I am confronted with the same concerns that are central to any discussion about language in postcolonial studies: why do we write in English? Whom do we write for? What kinds of appropriation and deformation of language occur in our work? Do our aesthetic choices imply a narrative of resistance? Being aware of the nexus between language, culture, and history inspires in me a greater appreciation for the power of language, which is critical for my growth as a writer. e
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
Access Rights
Email if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.