Lola Wallace's Reviews > Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures

Impossible Desires by Gayatri Gopinath
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's review
Apr 16, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: grad-school-coursework, gender-sexuality, postcoloniallit, queerstudies, nonfiction, litcrit, popmusic, readin2011
Read from April 06 to 11, 2011

the more I think & write about this book, the more I realize how rad/ical it is. Gopinath breaks down the distinction between home and diaspora, private, public and counterpublic, finding "impossible desires" & their queer expressions within the home nation (for her purposes, usually India). she places female subjectivity, desire and pleasure at the center of her inquiry, focusing on how hyperbolic femininity in Bollywood films encodes femme homoeroticism, challenging the closet paradigm with its rhetoric of visibility as the only way to enact queerness/queer critique. I am really not doing justice to the fascinating, iconoclastic cultural criticism and theorizing Gopinath does here. my only real quibble is that I think more focus on the everyday use of these cultural productions and performances, on the public/audience side of the equation, would strengthen her arguments considerably.
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