Asian American Short Story Writers: An A-to-Z Guide

By Guiyou Huang | Go to book overview
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HIMANI BANNERJI (1942-)

Chandrima Chakraborty


BIOGRAPHY

Himani Bannerji was born in 1942 in what is now Bangladesh. She came to Canada in 1969 and began her teaching career in Canada working as a parttime instructor at Atkinson College (York University), Toronto. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at York University. She has published books on poetry, fiction, and theory, and numerous essays on racism, feminism, politics, and culture. Her short stories have been published in various books and journals.


MAJOR WORKS AND THEMES

Bannerji's short stories voice the oppression of the female sex irrespective of their age, class, or geographical location. They deal with the condition of female immigrants in Canada and the religious and societal structures of gendered discrimination in India. The narrative voice in all the stories is that of a female South Asian immigrant.

The immigrant conflict between home as a physical site in Canada and home as an emotional tie to the country of birth is evident in a number of stories. The physical geography of Canada in “On a Cold Day” is emphasized through the “white cold light” and the “cold whiteness of the city” (33). In “The Colour of Freedom, “the whiteness” and “stifling monotony and purity of snow” are contrasted with the “yellow sun” of the narrator's childhood “in a far away country” (177). The mother in “The Other Family” sees her daughter “walking alone through an alien street in a country named Canada” and remembers “the sun, the trees and the peopled streets of her own country!”

-5-

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