Busting Stereotypes - The Changing Face of Asian Fiction

Aug 28, 2012, 01:01 PM

Arranged marriages, mangos and love affairs with feudal and colonial masters - none of these are the face of contemporary Pan-Asian Fiction.

Today the scene is often darker, with novels whose characters have just left prison, plot to overthrow corrupt governments, escape the horrors of genocide or search for their place in exile. The fictional face of Asia has transformed.

Set in an Indian village modelled on a real open prison of murderers, The Village is a story about manipulation and personal morality, about how truly frail our moral judgement can be. Dogs at the Perimeter journeys from present day Canada to a Cambodia ruled by the brutal Khmer Rouge, where people are seized in the night and the horrors of war are unspeakable. Our Lady Alice of Bhatti takes a lighter, wittier look at thwarted ambitions and love in unlikely places set in the febrile streets of downtown Karachi.

Mohammed Hanif, Madeline Thien, Kim Thuy and Nikita Lalwani are speaking with Claire Armitstead, Literary Editor of the Guardian.