Exhibited at the South Asian Literary and Theatre Arts Festival in the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution in 2012; Exhibited at Queens Museum of Art in 2012; Featured in The New York Times in 2012.

Eyes of the Storms: The Voices of South Asian-American Women (Second Revised Edition)

By Roksana Badruddoja

ISBN 978-1-62131-141-6, 328 pages, ©2013

Eyes of the Storms explores second-generation South-Asian American women and their perceptions of daily social practices in the United States. The book is a blend of theoretical critique, political analysis, and young peoples’ stories, based on a year-long feminist ethnography with a cross-national sample of twenty-five women. Spending a day in the life of each woman, the author ate and drank with them, and talked at length about issues including work, families, food, clothing, partners, and the feelings associated with being a child of immigrants. This research is the sustaining foundation of Eyes of the Storms, and addresses the meaning of national belonging, and lack of belonging.

Eyes of the Storms focuses on both conceptual and theoretical perspectives of the social, economic, cultural, aesthetic, and political dimensions of transnational migration. It links the experiences of young people to theoretical analysis, and engages readers through personal, readable essays. The topical focus of the work lends itself to clear-sighted examination of pressing contemporary issues. Suitable for undergraduate and graduate- level students, Eyes of the Storms can be used in courses in anthropology, sociology, Asian-American studies, and feminist studies.

Dr. Pawan Dhingra, author of Managing Multicultural Lives: Asian American Professionals and the Challenge of Multiple Identities, writes, “In Eyes of the Storms Badruddoja delivers both a personal and political analysis of how ‘Otherness’ is constructed by the United States and ethnic cultures. Invoking the words of diverse women, Badruddoja poignantly critiques binary and hierarchical thinking, which has become increasingly prominent in post-9/11 cultural discourse, to convey the multidimensional nature of identity. With clarity of vision and prose, she brings to life the daily struggles and agency which marginalized persons negotiate as they seek full cultural citizenship.

Dr. Konrad Ng, Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Pacific American Program, writes, “Roksana Badruddoja’s Eyes of the Storms: The Voices of South Asian-American Women is a compelling illustration of why this difference matters. Eyes of the Storms reveals a multilayered and sophisticated portrait of South Asian American identity. Her study reminds readers that contemporary identity is always interwoven with class, culture, diaspora, family, gender, race, sexuality, and spirituality in complex ways with ever-shifting degrees of consequence. Badruddoja suggests that identity is rarely a settled or simple definition…I am touched by how Badruddoja views her work as a personal journey. I find this to be the case for many Asian American studies scholars; our work is always personal. Given that our history, art, and culture have often been told through other voices—if at all—there are few role models from which to draw direction during moments when we want it.”

The  work has received several honors including:

  • Selection by the South Asian Literary and Theatre Arts Festival for exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
  • Selection by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs for a book reading at their Annual Conference in 2012
  • Selection as the Outstanding Faculty Publication of the Year at California State University, Fresno in 2009

Book Reading from Eyes of the Storms

Purchasing Options: Cognella/Amazon/Audiobook MP3 (Amazon)