The Fertile “Third Space” in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Stories

Sima Farshid, Somayeh Taleie


Scholarly debates over immigration and “diaspora” have shifted in recent years to pluralistic approaches of critics such as Bhabha and Hall who argue that the “hybridity” and “in-betweenness” of immigrants’ life might function as a suitable ground for the social and cultural improvement of their life-conditions. Drawing on such ideas, writers of the present article contend that Jhumpa Lahiri presents a double-sided outlook about the “third space” of diasporic life in her stories, while most critics have considered her attitude toward immigration a negative one. We argue that though Lahiri portrays immigrants’ problems in her stories, a meticulous appraisal of her work reveals the fact that she opposes too much insistence on traditional definitions of home and motherland, and instead pays tribute to the fluidity and flexibility of hybrid identity. She foregrounds the efficiency and fertility of the “third space” of diasporic life in several cases in her fiction by giving centrality and priority to those characters that are flexible, renounce the restricting customs of the left motherland, venture experiencing the inexperienced, and consequently can match themselves with their changed social position to achieve the best out of it. 

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International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

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