In this Book

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
summary

What do R.K. Narayan, G.V. Desani, Anita Desai, Zulfikar Ghose, Suniti Namjoshi, and Salman Rushdie have in common?

They represent Indian writing in English over five decades. Vilified by many cultural nationalists for not writing in native languages, they nonetheless present a critique of the historical and cultural conditions that promoted and sustained writing in English. They also have in common a counterrealist aesthetic that asks its own social, political, and textual questions.

This book is about the need to look at the tradition of Indian writing in English from the perspective of counterrealism. The departure from the conventions of mimetic writing not only challenges the limits of realism but also enables Indo-Anglian authors to access formative areas of colonial experience.

Kanaganayakam analyzes the fiction of writers who work in this vibrant Indo-Anglian tradition and demonstrates patterns of continuity and change during the last five decades. Each chapter draws attention to what is distinctive about the artifice in each author while pointing to the features that connect them. The book concludes with a study of contemporary writing and its commitment to non-mimetic forms.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. ix
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  1. 1. Counterrealism as Alternative Literary History
  2. pp. 1-27
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  1. 2. The Fabulator of Malgudi: R.K. Narayan
  2. pp. 29-50
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  1. 3. H. Hatterr and Sauce Anglaise: G.V. Desani
  2. pp. 51-73
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  1. 4. Slipper Dragging and the Silent Piano: Anita Desai
  2. pp. 75-98
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  1. 5. The Art of Enchantment: Zulfikar Ghose
  2. pp. 99-120
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  1. 6. Fashioning New Fables: Suniti Namjoshi
  2. pp. 121-142
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  1. 7. Fabulating the Real: Salman Rushdie
  2. pp. 143-165
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  1. 8. Midnight’s Grandchildren
  2. pp. 167-187
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 189-197
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 199-208
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  1. Index
  2. p. 209
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