South to South: Writing South Asia in the American South (Paperback)

South to South: Writing South Asia in the American South By Khem K. Aryal (Editor), Sindya Bhanoo (Contributions by), Jenny Bhatt (Contributions by), Sayantani Dasgupta (Contributions by), Anjali Enjeti (Contributions by), Ali Eteraz (Contributions by), Tarfia Faizullah (Contributions by), Anuja Ghimire (Contributions by), Rukmini Kalamangalam (Contributions by), Soniah Kamal (Contributions by), Aruni Kashyap (Contributions by), Shikha Malaviya (Contributions by), Kirtan Nautiyal (Contributions by), Chaitali Sen (Contributions by), Hasanthika Sirisena (Contributions by), Jaya Wagle (Contributions by) Cover Image

South to South: Writing South Asia in the American South (Paperback)

By Khem K. Aryal (Editor), Sindya Bhanoo (Contributions by), Jenny Bhatt (Contributions by), Sayantani Dasgupta (Contributions by), Anjali Enjeti (Contributions by), Ali Eteraz (Contributions by), Tarfia Faizullah (Contributions by), Anuja Ghimire (Contributions by), Rukmini Kalamangalam (Contributions by), Soniah Kamal (Contributions by), Aruni Kashyap (Contributions by), Shikha Malaviya (Contributions by), Kirtan Nautiyal (Contributions by), Chaitali Sen (Contributions by), Hasanthika Sirisena (Contributions by), Jaya Wagle (Contributions by)

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This anthology of eight short stories and eight narrative essays depicts diverse facets of the South Asian experience in the American South. Some of them relate to the proverbial longing for what the immigrants have left behind, while the others spotlight the immigrants’ struggles to reconcile with realities they did not sign up for. In Chaitali Sen’s “The Immigrant,” Dhruv is unable to talk about a lost boy because he feels “as if he were trapping the boy with his story,” as if the lost boy’s story were his own story of getting lost in a foreign country. In Hasanthika Sirisena’s “Pine,” a Christmas tree becomes more than “only a pine tree with decorations thrown on it” when Lakshmi’s ex-husband lets her know he is converting to Christianity “to get ahead in this country.” Aruni Kashyap’s “Nafisa Ali’s Life, Love, and Friendships, Before and after the Travel Ban” tell a post-2016 immigrant story in which love is baffling. In “Gettysburg,” Kirtan Nautiyal asks, how does an immigrant become part of the new country’s history? Soniah Kamal’s essay “Writing the Immigrant Southern in the New New South” reflects on what it means to be an immigrant writer and if one can write from two places at once. Together, the stories and essays in the anthology compose a mosaic of South Asian lived experiences in the American South.
Originally from Nepal, KHEM K. ARYAL is a writer, editor, and a teacher of writing. His work has appeared in The Pinch, Isthmus, Pangyrus, Warscapes, New Writing, The Kathmandu Post, and elsewhere. He is an assistant professor of creative writing at Arkansas State University, where he also serves as creative materials editor of Arkansas Review. He has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri. He was a long-time editor of Of Nepalese Clay, a literary journal published from Kathmandu.
Product Details ISBN: 9781680032963
ISBN-10: 1680032968
Publisher: Texas Review Press
Publication Date: April 21st, 2023
Pages: 186
Language: English

South to South is an exploration of the immigrant experience in southern US, delving into themes of displacement, cultural identity and the toll of racial violence.”
Manushree Mahat in The Kathmandu Post


— Manushree Mahat

"an intimate, richly articulated expression of what it means to live in the American South as a South Asian immigrant."
Gemini Wahhaj in Borderless Journal
— Gemini Wahhaj

"To a region much inclined to look backward, the American South, Khem K. Aryal’s anthology offers a vision as contemporary as it is vital and varied. These stories and essays assemble the conflicts and collisions (often literal) of cultures to explore and expose the traditions, mysteries, and wonders of Atlanta and Mobile and Houston and all points in between that South Asian populations have transformed. These writers, of Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, Pakistani, and Indian descent, are all ones you’ll want to know further as soon as you shut the cover of this magical and necessary book."
Tom Williams, author of Among the Wild Mulattos and Other Tales
— Tom Williams

"A stellar and much-needed anthology that illuminates a part of American life that has gone unacknowledged for too long. Gloriously written and contextualized in a well-researched introduction, this contribution to South Asian immigrant literature not only brings to life the experience of the writers and characters in the sixteen essays and stories, but offers with breathtaking clarity a vision of the American South from a vantage point that makes an old landscape new."
Joanna Eleftheriou, Author of This Way Back
— Joanna Eleftheriou

"South to South is a wonderfully varied collection of work, subversively curated to showcase writers inventing their own traditions as they resist and complicate how we imagine South Asia and the American South. If you thought anthologies were here to generalize, let this one prove you happily wrong! With a range of nuanced, surprising essays and stories from voices originating from Nepal to Georgia, this book offers what I’m looking for in any writing about South Asian Americans: ferocious wit, elevation of historically marginalized voices, and a lively interest in critique of society and self."
V. V. Ganeshananthan, author of Love Marriage
— V. V. Ganeshananthan

"South to South is an extraordinarily timely and utterly compelling literary collection. Staging South Asian claims of belonging in the US South, the sixteen stories and essays, along with Khem Aryal’s excellent introduction, show how much the South has changed its immigrants and how much these immigrants have changed their South. For in writing about the South, they have made it their own. Bold, unique, and inventive: this book will interest anyone reading, writing, and teaching about race, nationality, and immigration more generally and Asians and South Asians in the Southern United States more specifically."
Pallavi Rastogi, author of Postcolonial Disaster: Narrating Catastrophe in the Twenty-First Century
— Pallavi Rastogi

"South to South enriches the already-rich body of South Asian writing in America today. With its focus on immigrant experiences that are shaping—and are being shaped by—the American South, the book provides a fresh imagining of the complexities of displacement. It’s also a vivid testament to the marvelous diversity and resiliency that is the South Asian diaspora. This is the new South. These are the new Americans." 
Samrat Upadhyay, author of Arresting God in Kathmandu
— Samrat Upadhyay