Colloquial Crumbs: Reclamation of Spaces in Food and Memory in Sara Suleri’s Meatless Days
Autobiographical narratives—in the form of travelogues, memoirs, diaries, and other personal accounts—are crucial literary interventions that have aided a global and cosmopolitan expansion. Such self-narrations, excavating the lives of writers, elucidate and explore various cultural associations within society. Moreover, as the process of self-narration and the creation of an identity progresses, autobiographies, cumulatively known as ‘life-writing’ since 1990, essentially highlights the differences between the public and the private self, which gives rise to a tendency to marginalise the woman writer—who is often characterised by an ambiguous existence in the public domain. My paper will explore this idea of self-reflection and self-discovery in its attempt to situate Sara Suleri’s memoir Meatless Days (1989) within the postcolonial female identity, thereby unravelling the domestic space as a crucially inventive and creative space for the reclamation of the identity of a writer. The relationship of the domestic space with metaphors of food significantly emerges as a unifying trajectory to an imaginative home/land in turmoil. It forms a site emblematic of cultural identity and critical contentions in the ways in which they were presented and represented, beginning to allow an efflorescence of not only an aesthetic imagination of the domestic space but also a way of reclaiming it. Essentially, through an analysis of the memory and food and consumption metaphors (often extending out to be the feminine domestic space) that Suleri significantly uses in her narrative, this paper will explore facets of identity creation and continuity as a counter-narrative of patriarchal nation-building against the backdrop of ongoing political turmoil.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This is an Open Access journal. All material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence, unless otherwise stated.
Please read our Open Access, Copyright and Permissions policies for more information.