Reading Like a Girl

In Reading Like a Girl, Rishma Dunlop explores themes of immigration, Punjabi Sikh heritage, suburban life in the late 1950s and 1960s, diasporic and hybrid identity, the construction of a life through reading literature, comic book heroes and postcolonial education. The poet creates a lush land- scape of contrasts and paradoxes, scenes that include women in saris in Niagara Falls, Punjabi lullabies and the music of teen suburbia in the 1960s- Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton. Through the poems in this volume, the author explores the loss of “desh” or homeland for immigrants whose land of birth becomes a foreign geography, despite its stronghold on memory and embodied longing. The possibilities of new identities are presented through remembrance and re-imagining of the author’s journey through reading books from girlhood to her present roles as university professor and as a woman writer.

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