Pakistani-American Literature Sunil Sharma
Although immigration from South Asia to the United States began in the early decades of this century, when Punjabis arrived and settled down as farmers in California, Pakistani nationals as such did not, of course, come here until the creation of Pakistan in 1947 after the partition of British India. However, only after the 1965 Immigration Act did Pakistanis settle here in substantial numbers. In keeping with the general trend of immigrants from South Asia, while the more recent arrivals have been from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, the early post-1947 immigrants were largely professionals and academics. Their writing is mainly in English and is part of the larger post-colonial writing scene in South Asia. Due to the cultural and historical links between the different countries of South Asia, the category of Pakistani-American immigrant literature cannot be entirely separated from the larger one of South Asian. Specific categories like Pakistani-American literature and general ones like literature by South Asian Muslims or South Asian women overlap to a great extent and ideally would be contained under the general rubric of South Asian-American literature, as is seen in many of the anthologies mentioned later. However, this survey is limited to writers of Pakistani origin who reside in the United States. Canada has an equally significant and perhaps even more active expatriate Pakistani literary community, and while Canadian writers of Pakistani origin are not included here, it should be noted that the Canadian journal Toronto Review of Contemporary Writing Abroad ( Toronto South Asian Review until recently) is the chief publication of South Asian writers in North America. Those who
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Publication information: Book title: New Immigrant Literatures in the United States:A Sourcebook to Our Multicultural Literary Heritage. Contributors: Alpana Sharma Knippling - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 159.
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