Indo Anglian Literature

Indo Anglian Literature Indo Anglian Literature refers to the body of work by writers in India who write in the English language and whose native or co-native language could be one of the numerous languages of India. It is also associated with the works of members of the Indian diaspora, such as V. S. Naipaul, Kiran Desai, Jhumpa Lahiri who are of Indian descent. It is frequently referred to as Indo-Anglian literature. (Indo-Anglian is a specific term in the sole context of writing that should not be confused with the term Anglo-Indian).
As a category, this production comes under the broader realm of postcolonial literature- the production from previously colonised countries such as India. History IEL has a relatively recent history, it is only one and a half centuries old. The first book written by an Indian in English was by Sake Dean Mahomet, titled Travels of Dean Mahomet; Mahomet’s travel narrative was published in 1793 in England. In its early stages it was influenced by the Western art form of the novel. Early Indian writers used English unadulterated by Indian words to convey an experience which was essentially Indian.
Raja Rao’s Kanthapura is Indian in terms of its storytelling qualities. Rabindranath Tagore wrote in Bengali and English and was responsible for the translations of his own work into English. Dhan Gopal Mukerji was the first Indian author to win a literary award in the United States. Nirad C. Chaudhuri, a writer of non-fiction, is best known for his The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian where he relates his life experiences and influences. P. Lal, a poet, translator, publisher and essayist, founded a press in the 1950s for Indian English writing, Writers Workshop.

R. K. Narayan is a writer who contributed over many decades and who continued to write till his death recently. He was discovered by Graham Greene in the sense that the latter helped him find a publisher in England. Graham Greene and Narayan remained close friends till the end. Similar to Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, Narayan created the fictitious town of Malgudi where he set his novels. Some criticise Narayan for the parochial, detached and closed world that he created in the face of the changing conditions in India at the times in which the stories are set.
Others, such as Graham Greene, however, feel that through Malgudi they could vividly understand the Indian experience. Narayan’s evocation of small town life and its experiences through the eyes of the endearing child protagonist Swaminathan in Swami and Friends is a good sample of his writing style. Simultaneous with Narayan’s pastoral idylls, a very different writer, Mulk Raj Anand, was similarly gaining recognition for his writing set in rural India; but his stories were harsher, and engaged, sometimes brutally, with divisions of caste, class and religion. Later history
Among the later writers,Vikram Seth, author of A Suitable Boy (1994) is a writer who uses a purer English and more realistic themes. Being a self-confessed fan of Jane Austen, his attention is on the story, its details and its twists and turns. Vikram Seth is notable both as an accomplished novelist and poet. Vikram Seth’s outstanding achievement as a versatile and prolific poet remains largely and unfairly neglected. Shashi Tharoor, in his The Great Indian Novel (1989), follows a story-telling (though in a satirical) mode as in the Mahabharata drawing his ideas by going back and forth in time.
His work as UN official living outside India has given him a vantage point that helps construct an objective Indianness. As for the history of the gradual development of Indian drama in English, one may consult Pinaki Roy’s essay “Dramatic Chronicle: A Very Brief Review of the Growth of Indian English Plays”, included in Indian Drama in English: Some Perspectives (ISBN 978-81-269-1772-3) (pp. 272-87), edited by Abha Shukla Kaushik, and published by the New Delhi-based Atlantic Publishers and Distributors Pvt. Ltd. in 2013. Sarojini Naidu and her art of poetry; Such a gem of a work by the author, Dr.
Deobrata Prasad . he has carefully assimilated all the aspects and life p of Sarojini Naidu before divulging anything. such a systematic work is rare to single out in today’s era. Dr. Prasad has really taken care of every minute details prior to bringing forth such a marvel in the field of Indian English literature. This has been acclaimed as rare literary work in the literary fraternity in switzerland. Dr. prasad was even nominated as literary man of the year several times. The Guide The Guide is a 1958 novel written in English by the Indian author R. K. Narayan.
Like most of his works the novel is based in Malgudi, the fictional town in South India. The novel describes the transformation of the protagonist, Raju, from a tour guide to a spiritual guide and then one of the greatest holy men of India. The novel brought its author the 1960 Sahitya Akademi Award for English, by the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters. Railway Raju (nicknamed) is a disarmingly corrupt guide who falls in love with a beautiful dancer, Rosie, the neglected wife of archaeologist Marco . Marco doesn’t approve of Rosie’s passion for dancing.
Rosie, encouraged by Raju, decides to follow her dreams and start a dancing career. They start living together and Raju’s mother, as she does not approve of their relationship, leaves them. Raju becomes Rosie’s stage manager and soon with the help of Raju’s marketing tactics, Rosie becomes a successful dancer. Raju, however, develops an inflated sense of self-importance and tries to control her. Raju gets involved in a case of forgery and gets a two-year sentence. After completing the sentence, Raju passes through a village where he is mistaken for a sadhu (a spiritual guide).
Reluctantly, as he does not want to return in disgrace to Malgudi, he stays in an abandoned temple. There is a famine in the village and Raju is expected to keep a fast in order to make it rain. With media publicizing his fast, a huge crowd gathers (much to Raju’s resentment) to watch him fast. After fasting for several days, he goes to the riverside one morning as part of his daily ritual, where his legs sag down as he feels that the rain is falling in the hills. The ending of the novel leaves unanswered the question of whether he did, or whether the drought has really ended.
The last line of the novel is ‘Raju said “Velan, its raining up the hills, I can feel it under my feet. ” And with this he saged down’. The last line implies that by now Raju after undergoing so many ups and downs in his life has become a sage and as the drought ends Raju’s life also ends. Narayan has beautifully written the last line which means Raju did not die but saged down, meaning Raju within himself had become a sage. The Shadow Lines The Shadow Lines (1988) is a Sahitya Akademi Award-winning novel[1] by Indian-Bengali writer Amitav Ghosh.
It is a book that captures perspective of time and events, of lines that bring people together and hold them apart, lines that are clearly visible from one perspective and nonexistent from another. Lines that exist in the memory of one, and therefore in another’s imagination. A narrative built out of an intricate, constantly crisscrossing web of memories of many people, it never pretends to tell a story. Rather it invites the reader to invent one, out of the memories of those involved, memories that hold mirrors of differing shades to the same experience.
The novel is set against the backdrop of historical events like Swadeshi movement, Second World War, Partition of India and Communal riots of 1963-64 in Dhaka and Calcutta. The novel brought its author the 1989 Sahitya Akademi Award for English, by the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters. [2] Plot summary The novel follows the life of a young boy growing up in Calcutta and later on in Delhi and London. His family – the Datta Chaudharis – and the Prices in London are linked by the friendship between their respective patriarchs – Justice Dattachaudhari and Lionel Tresawsen.
The narrator adores Tridib because of his tremendous knowledge and his perspective of the incidents and places. Tha’mma thinks that Tridib is type of person who seems ‘determined to waste his life in idle self-indulgence’, one who refuses to use his family connections to establish a career. Unlike his grandmother, the narrator loves listening to Tridib. For the narrator, Tridib’s lore is very different from the collection of facts and figures. The narrator is sexually attracted to Ila but his feelings are passive. He never expresses his feelings to her afraid to lose the relationship that exists between them.
However one day he involuntarily shows his feelings when she was changing clothes in front of him being unaware of his feelings. She feels sorry for him. Tha’mma does not like Ila. ‘Why do you always speak for that whore’ – She doesn’t like her grandson to support her. Tha’mma has a dreadful past and wants to reunite her family and goes to Dhaka to bring back her uncle. Tridib is in love with May and sacrificed his life to rescue her from mobs in the communal riots of 1963-64 in Dhaka. Clear Light of Day Clear Light of Day is a novel published in 1980 by Indian novelist and three time Booker Prize finalist, Anita Desai.
Set in Old Delhi, this book describes the tensions in a post-partition Indian family during and after childhood, starting with the characters as adults and moving back into their lives through the course of the book. While the primary theme is the importance of family, other predominant themes include the importance of forgiveness, the power of childhood, and forgiving those you are close to. Plot summary The book is split into four sections covering the Das family from the children’s perspective in this order: adulthood, adolescence, childhood, and the time perspective returns to adulthood.
The book centers on the Das family, who have grown apart with adulthood. It starts with Tara, the wife of Bakul, India’s ambassador to America, greeting her sister Bimla (Bim), who is a history teacher living in Old Delhi as well as their autistic brother Baba’s caretaker. Their conversation eventually comes to Raja, their brother who lives in Hyderabad. Bim doesn’t want to go to the wedding of Raja’s daughter, showing Tara an old letter from when Raja became her landlord, unintentionally insulting her after the death of his father in law.
In part two the setting switches to partition era India, when the characters are adolescents in what is now Bim’s house. Raja is severely ill with tuberculosis and is left to Bim’s ministrations. Aunt Mira (Mira masi), their supposed caretaker after the death of the children’s often absent parents, becomes alcoholic and dies of alcoholism. Earlier Raja’s fascination with Urdu attracts the attention of the family’s Muslim landlord, Hyder Ali, whom Raja Idolizes. When he heals, Raja follows Hyder Ali to Hyderabad. Tara escapes from the situation through marriage to Bakul.
Bim is then left to provide for Baba alone, in the midst of the partition and the death of Gandhi. In part three Bim, Raja and Tara are depicted in pre-partition India awaiting the birth of their brother Baba. Aunt Mira, widowed by her husband and mistreated by her in-laws, is brought in to help with Baba, who is autistic, and to raise the children. Raja is fascinated with poetry. He shares a close bond with Bim, the head girl at school, although they often exclude Tara. Tara wants to be a mother although this fact brings ridicule from Raja and Bim, who want to be a hero and a heroine, respectively.
The final section returns to modern India and showcases Tara confronting Bim over the Raja’s daughter’s wedding and Bim’s broken relationship with Raja. This climaxes when Bim explodes at Baba. After her anger fades she comes to the conclusion that the love of family is irreplaceable and can cover all wrongs. After Tara leaves she decides to go to her neighbors the Misras for a concert and she then decides that she will go to the wedding. The God of Small Things The God of Small Things (1997) is the debut novel of Indian writer Arundhati Roy.
It is a story about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins whose lives are destroyed by the “Love Laws” that lay down “who should be loved, and how. And how much. ” The book is a description of how the small things in life affect people’s behaviour and their lives. The book won the Booker Prize in 1997. The God of Small Things is Roy’s first book and, as of 2013, is her only novel. Completed in 1996, the book took four years to write. The potential of the story was first recognized by Pankaj Mishra, an editor with HarperCollins, who sent it to three British publishers.
Roy received half-a-million pounds in advances, and rights to the book were sold in 21 countries. While generally praised, the book did receive some criticism for its verbosity and controversial subject matter. [1] The story, told here in chronological order, although the novel shifts around in time, primarily takes place in a town named Ayemenem or Aymanam now part of Kottayam in Kerala state of India. The temporal setting shifts back and forth from 1969, when fraternal twins Rahel and Estha are seven years old, to 1993, when the twins are reunited at age 31.
Much of the story is written in a viewpoint relevant to the seven-year-old children. Malayalam words are liberally used in conjunction with English. Some facets of Kerala life which the novel captures are communism, the caste system, and the Keralite Syrian Christian way of life. Without sufficient dowry for a marriage proposal, Ammu Ipe becomes desperate to escape her ill-tempered father, Pappachi, and her bitter, long-suffering mother, Mammachi. She finally convinces her parents to let her spend a summer with a distant aunt in Calcutta.
To avoid returning to Ayemenem, she marries a man who assists managing a tea estate whom she later discovers to be a heavy alcoholic who physically abuses her and attempts to prostitute her to his boss so that he can keep his job. She gives birth to two children, fraternal twins, Estha and Rahel, yet ultimately leaves her husband and returns to live with her mother and brother, Chacko, in Ayemenem. Also living at their home in Ayemenem is Pappachi’s sister, Baby Kochamma, whose actual name is Navomi Ipe, but is called Baby due to her young age at becoming a grand-aunt, and Kochamma being an honorific title for females.
As a young girl, Baby Kochamma had fallen in love with Father Mulligan, a young Irish priest who had come to Ayemenem to study Hindu scriptures. In order to get closer to him, Baby Kochamma had become a Roman Catholic and joined a convent, against her father’s wishes. After a few lonely months in the convent, Baby Kochamma had realized that her vows brought her no closer to the man she loved, with her father eventually rescuing her from the convent, sending her to America for an education, where she obtained a diploma in ornamental gardening.
Due to her unrequited love with Father Mulligan, Baby Kochamma remained unmarried for the rest of her life, gradually becoming more and more bitter over the years. Throughout the book, Baby Kochamma delights in the misfortune of others and manipulates events to bring down calamity upon Ammu and the twins. While studying at Oxford, Chacko fell in love and married an English woman named Margaret, Shortly after the birth of their daughter Sophie, Margaret reveals that she had been having an affair with another man, Joe. They divorce and Chacko, unable to find a job, returns to India.
After the death of Pappachi, Chacko returns to Ayemenem and takes over his mother’s business, called Paradise Pickles and Preserves. When Margaret’s second husband is killed in a car accident, Chacko invites her and Sophie to spend Christmas in Ayemenem. The day before Margarget and Sophie arrive, the family visits a theater to see The Sound of Music, where Estha is molested by the “Orangedrink Lemondrink Man”, a vendor working the snack counter of the theater. His fear stemming from this encounter factors into the circumstances that lead to the tragic events at the heart of the narrative.
On the way to the airport to pick them up, the family (Chacko, Ammu, Estha, Rahel, and Baby Kochamma) encounters a group of communist protesters. The protesters surround the car and force Baby Kochamma to wave a red flag and chant a communist slogan, humiliating her. Rahel thinks she sees Velutha, an untouchable servant that works in the pickle factory, in the crowd. Velutha’s alleged presence with the communist mob makes Baby Kochamma associate him with her humiliation at their hands, and she begins to harbor a deep hatred towards him.
Velutha is an untouchable (the lowest caste in India), a dalit, and his family has served the Ipes for generations. Velutha is an extremely gifted carpenter and mechanic. His skills with repairing the machinery make him indispensable at the pickle factory, but result in resentment and hostility from the other, touchable factory workers. Rahel and Estha form an unlikely bond with Velutha and come to love him, despite his untouchable status. It is her children’s love for Velutha that causes Ammu to realize her attraction to him and eventually, she comes to “love by night the man her children love by day”.
They begin a short-lived affair that culminates in tragedy for the family. When her relationship with Velutha is discovered, Ammu is locked in her room and Velutha is banished. In her rage, Ammu blames the twins for her misfortune and calls them the “millstones around her neck”. Distraught, Rahel and Estha decide to run away. Their cousin Sophie Mol convinces them to take her with them. During the night, while trying to reach the abandoned house across the river, their boat capsizes and Sophie drowns.
Once Margaret Kochamma and Chacko return from Cochin, where they have been picking up airline tickets, Margaret sees Sophie’s body lay out on the sofa. She vomits and hysterically berates the twins as they had survived, and hits Estha. Baby Kochamma goes to the police and accuses Velutha of being responsible for Sophie’s death. She claims that Velutha attempted to rape Ammu, threatened the family, and kidnapped the children. A group of policemen hunt Velutha down and savagely beat him for crossing caste lines, the twins witnessing the horrific scene and are deeply disturbed.
When the twins reveal the truth of Sophie’s death to the Chief of Police, he is alarmed. He knows that Velutha is a communist, and is afraid that the wrongful arrest and beating of Velutha will cause unrest amongst the local communists. He threatens to hold Baby Kochamma responsible for falsely accusing Velutha. To save herself, Baby Kochamma tricks Rahel and Estha into accusing Velutha of Sophie’s death. Velutha dies of his injuries. Hearing of his arrest, Ammu goes to the police to tell the truth about their relationship. The police threaten her to make her leave the matter alone.
Afraid of being exposed, Baby Kochamma convinces Chacko that Ammu and the twins are responsible for his daughter’s death. Chacko kicks Ammu out of the house. Unable to find a job, Ammu is forced to send Estha to live with his father. Estha never sees Ammu again, and she dies alone and impoverished a few years later at the age of thirty-one. After a turbulent childhood and adolescence in India, Rahel goes to America to study. While there, she gets married, divorced and finally returns to Ayemenem after several years of working dead-end jobs.
Rahel and Estha, both 31-years-old, are reunited for the first time since they were children. In the intervening years, Estha and Rahel have been haunted by their guilt and grief-ridden pasts. Estha is perpetually silent and Rahel has a haunted look in her eyes. It becomes apparent that neither twin ever found another person who understood them in the way they understand each other. The twins’ renewed intimacy ultimately culminates in them sleeping together. In the last chapter of the book, ‘The Cost of Living’, the narrative is once again set in the 1969 time frame and describes Ammu and Velutha’s first sexual encounter.
It describes that “Instinctively they stuck to the Small Things. The Big Things ever lurked inside. They knew there was nowhere for them to go. They had no future. So they stuck to the Small Things”. After each encounter, Ammu and Velutha make one promise to one another: “Tomorrow? Tomorrow. ” The novel ends on the optimistic note, “She kissed his closed eyes and stood up. Velutha with his back against the mangosteen tree watched her walk away. She had a dry rose in her hair. She turned to say it once again: ‘Naaley. ‘ Tomorrow. ” References • Haq, Kaiser (ed. ). Contemporary Indian Poetry.
Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1990. • Haq, Rubana (ed. ). The Golden Treasury of Writers Workshop Poetry. Kolkata: Writers Workshop, 2008. • Hoskote, Ranjit (ed. ). Reasons for Belonging: Fourteen Contemporary Indian Poets. Viking/Penguin Books India, New Delhi, 2002. • King, Bruce Alvin. Modern Indian Poetry in English: Revised Edition. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987, rev. 2001. (“the standard work on the subject and unlikely to be surpassed” — Mehrotra, 2003). • Desai, Anita. Clear Light of Day. 1st Mariner books ed ed. New York: Mariner Books, 2000. Print.

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