Reflection of Immigration, Alienation, and Identity Crisis in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss: A Saga of “Middle of Nowhere”


  • Reshu Shukla Assistant Prof. Dept of English S.B.D. (PG) College, Dhampur, Bijnor, U.P.



Alienation, Immigration, Estrangement, Loss, Hope, Class-struggle, multiculturalism, Existential Crisis, Disparities.


The Inheritance of Loss, written by Kiran Desai, won the 2006 Man Booker Prize. The book thoroughly explains the modern problems brought on by globalisation and technological advancement, followed by the escalating perceptions of economic disparities, diversity, fanaticism, and rationalism as the main contemporary survival threats.  Kiran Desai has accurately captured the state of homelessness, alienation, estrangement, marginalisation, and lack of belongingness that immigrants face in both foreign countries as well as in their own countries in the name of class-culture disparities. The novel tells the story of people from various backgrounds battling social norms while being stigmatised by their caste, class, culture, and country. It depicts post-globalization effects, which have ironically had a greater impact on the segment of society known as the middle class, further divided into the higher middle class and lower middle class, despite having made notable changes in the world spectrum in various aspects. The novelist has amazingly succeeded in portraying the negative aspects of the ongoing changes occurring on all levels, regardless of geographic borders, in the technical, economic, social, cultural, and ethical spheres.

New York city, one of the two major locations of the plot, happens to be home to a large population of legal and unauthorised immigrants from various ‘Third World Nations’, and the other is Kalimpong, a small Indian town at the base of Mount Kanchenjunga in the north-eastern Himalayas, which is shown to be experiencing political unrest in the middle of the 1980s following the launch of the liberation movement by the Indian Nepalese. Kiran Desai has effectively depicted the effects of the Gorkha movement of the time, linking it to the main plot. The purpose of this paper is to study the novel's extensive treatment of the themes of home, homeland, alienation, immigration, identity crisis, and above all, the pain of isolation in the shadow of belongingness. 


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Works Cited:

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Desai, Kiran. The Inheritance of Loss. New Delhi: Penguin, 2006.

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Indramohan, T.M.J. “The Literature of Indian Diaspora: A Synoptic View”, The Atlantic Critical Review, Vol.5, Number 4 (Oct.-Dec.,2006)

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How to Cite

Reshu Shukla. (2023). Reflection of Immigration, Alienation, and Identity Crisis in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss: A Saga of “Middle of Nowhere”. Creative Saplings, 2(02), 39–50.