A Concise History of Indian Literature in English
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra (Ed.)
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
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For anyone interested in the story of English in India, or in the finest English storytellers of India, this is the essential book.

A 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 made significant contributions to Indian literature in English.

This new, expanded edition of a book established as the standard work on its subject, comprises twenty-nine chapters, each by an expert, and focused on either a single author (Kipling, Tagore, R.K. Narayan, D.D. Kosambi), or a group of authors (the Dutt family of Calcutta; diasporic writers; nature writers; ‘pulp’ novelists), or a genre (literary fiction; poetry since Independence).

This book is written for general readers. Biographical information is provided and each author is contextualized.

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra is a well-known poet, critic, and translator. His books  include (as editor) An Illustrated History of Indian Literature in English (2003); The Transfiguring Places (1998); and The Absent Traveller: Prakrit Love Poetry from the Gathasaptasati (1991). He has edited The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets (1992).

A delightful journey through Indian writing in English from its beginnings in the early 19th century to the boom in fiction we’re witnessing now.’
–Padmini Mongia, Biblio

‘What is most remarkable here is the bold attempt to invent a full, enabling tradition for the Indian writer in English, comprising not only litfolk but all who have made of English an Indian thing.’
–Alok Rai, Outlook

‘This is the best kind of history . . . it deserves a place on the bookshelves of anyone who has an
inquiring mind.’
–Nilanjana S. Roy, The Hindu

‘Conceptually ambitious . . . it provides several original insights and valuable reformulations.’
–Prathima Anandan, Interventions

‘Historians, anthropologists, political commentators, magazine editors, novelists, poets, Sanskritists and academics all jostle for space to convey their views within the covers of this book. . . It is a volume for both scholars and amateurs seeking to decipher what precisely can be named as “Indian Literature in English.”’
–Anjana Sharma, South Asia Research

‘A first truly comprehensive history of the extensive and now widely read and respected Indian literature in English. . . Mehrotra’s smart packaging of these literary-historical essays and his selection of widely scattered critics to write them, can be hailed as one unequivocally positive result of globalization.’
–John Oliver Perry, World Literature Today

‘Mehrotra and his team offer a comprehensive view of what used to be called Indo-Anglian writing. Even for those who may be familiar with the terrain, here are a number of insightful moments.’
–Stephen Alter, South Asia

‘Mehrotra has put together an amazing volume. . . A rigorous book, with a brilliant introduction, this compendium joins K. R. Srinivas Iyengar’s legendary Indian Writing in English.’
–P. Venkateswaran, Choice

This volume, edited by the poet and anthologist Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, is excellent, accessible and extremely timely. . . Mehrotra’s book fills an inexplicable gap in the study of this fast-growing literature, and creates a welcome sense of context to works that tend to be studied within an often vague ‘postcolonial’ literary curriculum. Most importantly perhaps, it is a book intended for the general reader, though it is written by specialists, so it has the double advantage of providing high quality critical portraits with a clear and non-jargonistic exposition.
–Neelam Srivastava, SOAS Literary Review

‘A useful and detailed guide to a varied body of writing.’
–Siddhartha Deb, Times Literary Supplement

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