Portrayals of the “Common” Poor as [Un]common Wealth in the Sri Lankan Novel of Expatriation

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Senath Walter Perera


In her paper, “ Can the Indigent Speak? Poverty Studies, the Postcolonial and Global
Appeal of Q &A and The White Tiger,” Barbara Korte responds in the negative to her
rhetorical question, “are the non-poor disentitled to write about poverty?” before
proceeding to critique some novelistic renderings of the indigent by writers who are
obviously not impoverished (294). One could ask a similar question in relation to Sri
Lanka and frame it thus: “Are Sri Lankan expatriate writers, who are separated from
the land of their birth by time and space, entitled to write about the poor in the island,
especially domestics”? To this, and the possible follow up question, “Dosome of
these depictions of the poor and their interrelations with the moneyed class challenge
the postcolonial critic?”one could respond with an emphatic “yes.”


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PERERA, Senath Walter. Portrayals of the “Common” Poor as [Un]common Wealth in the Sri Lankan Novel of Expatriation. SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English, [S.l.], v. 52, n. 1, p. 25-41, may 2017. ISSN 0127-046X. Available at: <https://sare.um.edu.my/article/view/2749>. Date accessed: 07 aug. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.22452/sare.vol52no1.3.