This book is an illustrated history of two hundred years of Indian literature in English. It starts by looking at the introduction of English into India's complex language scenario around 1800. It then takes up the canonical poets, novelists, and dramatists, as well as unjustly forgotten figures, who have made significant contributions to Indian literature in English.
It comprises twenty-four chapters, written by India's foremost scholars and critics. Each chapter is devoted either to a single author (Kipling, Tagore, Sri Aurobindo, R.K. Narayan), or to a group of authors (the Dutt family; diasporic writers), or to a genre (the novel; poetry; drama). This is a book for the non-specialist general reader. Biographical information on major literary figures is provided, and in most cases their work is historically contextualized. A unique feature of the book is the illustrations. They range from rare photographs and drawings to comic books and popular prints, and have been collected especially for this volume, making it the first illustrated history of any of the Indian literatures. William Jones and Thomas Macaulay, Henry Derozio and Toru Dutt, Bankim and Tagore, Kipling and Naipaul, G.V. Desani and Raja Rao, R.K. Narayan and Nirad C. Chaudhuri, Sarojini Naidu and Anita Desai, Gandhi and Nehru, Mulk Raj Anand and Aubrey Menen, Verrier Elwin and Salim Ali, jim Corbett and M. Krishnan, Nissim Ezekiel and A.K. Ramanujan, Salman Rushdie and Vikram Seth, Gieve Patel and Girish Karnad, social reformers and religious thinkers, conservationists and hunters, Presidency College and St Stephen's College, drama and translation, this volume covers everything of literary significance that has happened in India.
For anyone interested in the story of English in India, or in the finest English storytellers of India, this is the essential companion.