Introduction (Identities & Issues in Literature)
American writers of Asian Indian origin bring a distinct style and subject matter to the literature of the Americas. Issues emerging in their writings include the struggle to break free of imperialism, cultural assimilation, expatriation, and racial prejudice. In the literature of Asian Indians living in North America, two distinct styles have evolved. One concerns itself with the need to integrate into mainstream American culture; this literature is declarative in tone and has as its locale the broad landscapes of America. Literature of this first type often presents situations that give rise to violent cultural collisions. The second type has as its focus the necessity of maintaining the customs and communities of origin. This literature questions the pull to assimilation, giving rise to an interrogative quality. The two orientations mingle with each other. Asian Indian literature gives voice to the interweave of a life of an Asian in America by often combining the literary canons of the West and East. The Greek poet Homer, the English poet John Milton, and the American poet Walt Whitman are evoked as comfortably as the ancient Sanskrit poems of Klidsa.
(The entire section is 186 words.)
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