‘Mother Weight Carried across Borders’: Migrant Materiality and the Maternal in Meena Alexander’s Fault Lines: A Memoir (2003)
Source of Publication
The article discusses the memoir Fault Lines by South Asian-American poet and writer Meena Alexander in terms of a poetics of migration, reflecting upon what Alexander refers to as female migrancy. The analysis focuses upon the mother–daughter relationship as the site of realignments and redefinitions at the core of this autobiographical narrative. The positionality of the mother, amma, amidst the contingency of migration, leads to productive re-castings of the narrative of womanhood and a re-consideration of women’s historical situatedness at the crossroads, and fault lines as it were, of national histories and female traditions. On a deeply personal note, the article is an in memoriam piece, dedicated to Alexander who lost her battle with cancer in late 2018. Meena was my former professor, mentor and doctoral dissertation adviser in the English Department, Graduate Center, City University of New York. She and I both considered mothers foundational, and it was Meena’s special grace to guide me into an intellectual space where I could articulate my thoughts about mothers and daughters and about the maternal and filial bond transformed by migration.
Informa UK Limited
Arts and Humanities
Migration narrative, Mother-daughter plot, Embodiment, Materiality
Haragos, Szidonia, "‘Mother Weight Carried across Borders’: Migrant Materiality and the Maternal in Meena Alexander’s Fault Lines: A Memoir (2003)" (2019). All Works. 19.
Indexed in Scopus