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Vol. 45, No. 1


March 2015





Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica

Identity Politics of South Asian Enclaves

The (In)adequacy of (In)authenticity

and Multiculturalism

in Gautam Malkani’s




Pei-Chen Liao

Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Cheng Kung University

No. 1, University Road, Tainan 70101, Taiwan



Reading Gautam Malkani’s debut novel



this article explores questions of place, identity, and

ethnicity with a focus on the (in)adequacy of

(in)authenticity and multiculturalism. I argue that, even if,

on the surface, the concentration of South Asian

immigrants in Hounslow may reflect ethnic segregation

Received December 16, 2013; accepted September 4, 2014; last revised July 15,


Proofreaders: Yi-Hsin Lai, Han-Ju Yen, Hsih-Keng Yen


Part of this article was presented at the international conference “Landscape,

Seascape, and the Spatial Imagination” held at the Center for the Humanities,

National Sun Yat-sen University, on November 2-3, 2012. I am indebted to the

members of the research group “Border Narrative and Space Discourse” for their

constructive comments on my proposal of the research project “London City

Novels and South Asian Enclaves” in 2011. I especially wish to thank Professor

Kim-Tong Tee, who kindly invited me to join the research group, and Professor

Yu-cheng Lee, who is always an inspiration to me. Finally, I would like to thank

the two anonymous reviewers. My revision has benefited a lot from their

invaluable comments and suggestions.