Meena Alexander: Contribution as Indian American Poet

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      Meena Alexander (1951-2018) a Indian American poet, novelist, essayist and critic. Born in Allahabad, into a Christian family; the author moved to Sudan with her family at the age of 5. She began writing poetry and publishing at a very early age. When she was 17, she went to the English Midlands, to Nottingham, where she completed a Ph.D. on Women in Romanticism, published in 1989. Later she returned to India to teach in Delhi and Hyderabad. In 1979 she married an American and moved to New York, to teach creative writing at Columbia University, and Women's Studies at Hunter College. She has published many volumes of poetry including The Bird's Bright Ring (1976), I Root My Name (1977), Stone Roots (1980), House of a Thousand Doors (1988) and River and Bridge (1995). Much of her poetry deals with the issues of origins, displacement and female identity. She is highly praised for the intense lyrical quality of her writing. She has also written several novels. The first one, Nampally Road (1991), is a short novel set entirely in India. Fault Lines (1994), her best book so far, is a memoir in which Alexander creates her leading figuration of the 'fault lines'.

      These are areas of fraction created by multiple uprootings through countries, languages and time. In The Shock of Arrival. Reflections on Postcolonial Experience (1996), Alexander further explores the condition of migration and cultural displacement; fusing poetry, prose and critical thinking. Her novel Manhattan Music (1997) has an autobiographical content, and it narrates her life as a diasporic Indian writer, a married woman and a mother, a professor and a poet in the multicultural New York of the 1990s.

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