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date: 24 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay explores how youth identities are constructed in a postcolonial space through life writing. In so doing it challenges conventional understanding of autobiography or testimonio. Using the life writing of Malay Roychoudhury–the founder of the 1960s radical literary Hungry movement–the essay shows how the categories autobiography and testimonio are insufficient to describe life writing of the Global South. The characters portrayed, the treatment of the narrative, and the multiple footings taken to project the author as a subaltern and marginal figure and yet possessing abundant cultural capital, hybridizes the genre of life writing itself whereby newer tools become necessary. This essay thus presents critical youth culture studies, theories of life writing, and subaltern studies, as they relate to postcolonialism, in order to highlight the necessity for seeing the youth of the Global South in ways that cannot be captured by analytical tools that are insufficiently provincialized.

Keywords: youth life writing, decoloniality, autobiography, testimonio, youth identities, Hungry Movement, Indian postcolonialism, subaltern studies

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