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Synopsis

AMERICAN IMMIGRATION AESTHETICS (Bernard Malamud & Bharati Mukherjee as Immigrants) is a well-researched Doctoral study of the dynamics of immigration into America in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond.

As immigrant writers both Bernard Malamud (1914-1986)-a second generation East European (Russian) Jew and Bharati Mukherjee (b 1940)-a first generation South Asian (Indian) Hindu have proven to the outer world their capabilities as excellent storytellers in their novels & short stories. Together, about 15 novels and 50 short stories are discussed.

In America the Jews and the Indians have resisted the domination of the majority community. Resistance has tightened the internal cohesion of the two ethnic groups. Suffering has chastened the Jews after their experience of the four thousand year history. Similarly, the long tradition and history of spirituality and adaptability in Hinduism has moulded the Hindu Indian to survive adversity.

The human element in man/woman with its struggles between fulfillment and non-fulfillment makes them feel a mutual responsibility. Delineating life's losers and victims with deep concern and compassion the two writers seek 'redemption' in this world itself- in an ethical uprightness. The terminal point marks the emergence of a new set of values equipped for a second quest - this time one of heroism. The contours of a real, new, better life are visible. It leads to a definition and evaluation of the world -on one's own terms.

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