Postcolonial Dilemmas in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss


  • Abraham Panavelil Abraham University of Nizwa, Sultanate of Oman



Alienation, Assimilation, Diaspora, Hybridization, , Identity, Immigrant, , Postcolonial


The paper will try to analyze Kiran Desai’s Booker winning novel The Inheritance of Loss as story dealing primarily about the problems of migration faced by her characters, their tensions and dilemmas. One of the major concerns of diasporic literature is the problem of exile, displacement and the resulting consequences. Uprooting from one’s own home land is an agonizing process that brings numerous material and emotional traumas in the process of rerooting in an alien land. The characters are often victims of circumstances and by the time they realize the problems, they are exhausted, miserable and frustrated.  Even when they come back after their traumatic experiences, like the Judge in the novel, they often develop a sense of distrust and anger. They are in a state of confusion from which they find it difficult to come out. The paper will focus on the experiences of some of the characters in the novel – Jemubhai Patel, the Judge, and Biju, the son of Judge’s cook who is the central character of the novel. The book seems to suggest that true happiness does not lie in material wealth or comforts, but in one’s own dignity, identity and sense of belonging. In the novel, the characters especially Biju has to undergo number of traumatic experiences that brought a lot of material loss, but he has a spiritual gain- the realization of what brings true joy in life.


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How to Cite

Abraham, A. P. (2017). Postcolonial Dilemmas in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss . International Journal Online of Humanities, 3(5), 15–31.