Revisiting Anita Desai’s Fiction: Tracing Generational Relevance towards a Third Culture/Third Space Spectrum


  • Nishtha Kishore



Third culture subjectivity, Third Space Spectrum, Spatial Theories, Indian-English Novel, Anita Desai.


The paper attempts to trace the generational relevance of produced fiction by Anita Desai (b. 1937) towards the possibility of locating third culture subjectivity and the scope of the third space spectrum. The association ranges from the character aesthetics to strategic spatial intervention in her fiction, and the scope of extending the same to new pressures of readership pertaining to constantly mobile and restructured locales. The world around shows signs of disintegration of the individual vis-a-vis dislocation, migration, and dynamic forms of locomotion. It is, therefore, imperative that the modern Indian-English novel should seek new techniques to articulate the experienced inner and outer realities, merging textuality, spatiality, and subjectivity. Desai's preoccupation with the individual highlights their psychological motivations, identity constructs, organizational logic of family institutions, disintegration, sense of failure, the absence to offer a clear binary, and her keen awareness of the futility of existence radiates from most of her novels. The paper tries to fathom such possibilities through analyses of her major fiction into a third culture spectrum, which may serve as a major constituent to tackle her oeuvre and accommodate her major themes.


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Works Cited:

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Cohen, Robin, and Alan Gamlen. “A Discussion on Diasporas.” YouTube, Oxford Diasporas Program, 5 Mar. 2012,

Desai, Anita. Baumgartner's Bombay. Vintage, 2018.

Desai, Anita. Clear Light of Day. Vintage, 2018.

Desai, Anita. Complete Stories, Vintage, 2018.

Kohli, Devindra, and Melanie Maria Just. Anita Desai: Critical Perspectives. Pencraft International, 2008.

Newman, Judie. “History and Letters: Anita Desai's Baumgartner's Bombay.” World Literature Written in English, vol. 30, no. 1, 1990, pp. 37–46.,

“Third Culture Kids: The Impact of Growing up in a Globalised World: Ruth Van Reken: TEDxINSEAD.” YouTube, 24 July 2015,

Useem, Ruth Hill, and Richard D. Downie. “[PDF] Third-Culture Kids.: Semantic Scholar.” Undefined, 1 Jan. 1976,




How to Cite

Nishtha Kishore. (2022). Revisiting Anita Desai’s Fiction: Tracing Generational Relevance towards a Third Culture/Third Space Spectrum. Creative Saplings, 1(9), 25–36.