Facing East, Facing West

Mark Twain's Following the Equator and Pandita Ramabai's The Peoples of the United States

in Volume 10 (2009): Issue 1 (Jun 2009): South Asia and the Americas
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Mark Twain's Following the Equator (1897), a narrative of a journey to the South Pacific, Australia, South Asia, and South Africa, has occupied a small but significant space in the consideration of Twain's wider career as both a travel writer and social critic. Twain's work has not, however, been considered in conjunction with the works of later nineteenth-century South Asian travelers in North America. The present article puts Twain's discussion of India and Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) in dialogue with Indian scholar and women's rights activist Pandita Ramabai's 1889 travelogue The Peoples of the United States.