This article probes the relationship between spatial belonging and memorialization in Arundhati Roy's The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (2017) and Regina Scheer's Machandel (2014), examining how the focus on graveyards in both novels ties in with their equally shared emphasis on social outsiders forming communities in (formerly) partitioned nations. It reassesses Michel Foucault's idea of heterotopias—exceptional spaces that reflect back on the rest of society—and shows how both texts position the perpetually shifting nature of such “other spaces” in contrast to the fixed and exclusionary notions of belonging that buttress contemporary right-wing nationalist discourses in India and Germany alike. Scrutinizing the memorializing function of the depicted graveyards in light of Michael Rothberg's concept of multidirectional memory, the article then demonstrates how Ministry and Machandel connect differently marginalized groups' histories and propose present-day solidarity between them. Reading heterotopia through multidirectionality and vice versa, this analysis showcases how Foucault's and Rothberg's respective concerns with discourse-destabilizing spaces and despatialized memory discourses productively complicate and complement each other. It is through the interplay of alternative material spaces and connective approaches to memory that Roy's and Scheer's novel develop visions of community centering on those otherwise marginalized.

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