Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



A Paradise in Shambles: Anglophone Kashmiri Fiction and the Environment studies the world-building techniques that Kashmiri authors use when constructing a Paradise in Shambles. In assembling this imaginative space, the cyclical retelling of characters’ environmental marginalization through the sustained narrative form allows readers to see literature as a site that critiques contemporary theories of ecocriticism. Firstly, in world-building a Paradise in Shambles authors portray the effects of hydropolitics on the most venerable characters. Their lack of access to clean water and rivers that are polluted with blood amplifies water’s role in the ecological oppression of protagonists and their families. Secondly, the sustained narratives of characters who are oppressed by people operating from an eco-sinister worldview establish how the weaponization of nature is a key component in world-building a Paradise in Shambles. Thirdly, the way characters tell and retell accounts of how their abusers treat them as objects of destruction reveals that blurring the line between the human and the object is a driving force that establishes Kashmir as a Paradise in Shambles, in literature. By applying the Paradise in Shambles metaphor to how authors world-build, Kashmir is not only divided by de facto borders but places like a water tap, a field, and a river become a site where characters tell and retell their environmental oppression. The sustained narrative dramatizes the endlessness of their ecological disenfranchisement, which it does by showing how the character’s relationship with nature worsens as the plot develops. The literary texts in this dissertation include Mirza Waheed’s The Collaborator (2011), Malik Sajad’s Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir (2015), Paro Anand’s Weed (2008), Sanchit Gupta’s The Tree with a Thousand Apples (2017), Basharat Peer’s Curfewed Night (2010), Rahul Pandita’s Our Moon has Blood Clots (2013), Feroz Rather’s The Night of Broken Glass (2018), and Saba Shafi’s Leaves of Kashmir (2018).



Committee Chair

Rastogi, Pallavi

Available for download on Friday, March 28, 2031