About the Book: The field of Postcolonial Studies, which has been gaining prominence since the 1970s, has inspired some of the most challenging academic work in recent years. Postcolonialism, however remains an elusive and contested term. It possesses a genealogy is linked to the history of colonialism. Critics such as Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, Aijaz Ahmad, Abdul JanMohamed, Chinua Achebe, Gayatri Spivak, Ngugi wa Thiong’O and Ashis Nandy have questioned the Eurocentric assumptions of the western formulations, to critically engage with the literatures of the third world written in English and other national languages.
Postcolonial criticism has a salutary effect in as much as it seeks to transcend the academic nexus which generated the category of Commonwealth Literature; and Postcolonial Theory, it must be admitted, remains a useful conceptual framework for the practice of radical critique in its emphasis on resistance to authority, and for its deference to national literatures. However, its almost exclusive dependence on the theoretical assumptions of the western world is often regressive and reductive, and overlooks the richness, the variety and the heterogeneity of the social formations of the third world. There is a vast corpus of writings in various Indian languages as well as the Indian Writing in English, which offer the means to identify alternative histories, cultural traditions and knowledges which conflict with the representations of colonial discourses.
This book takes a comprehensive view of the Indian literatures from a postcolonial perspective and offers critique of four Indian novels - Rabindranath Tagore’s Home and the World, R. K. Narayan’s Waiting for the Mahatma, U. R. Ananthmurthy’s Samskara and Nayantara Sahgal’s Rich Like Us, in which nation, gender, modernity and caste figure prominently as contested categories.
About the Author: Satish C. Aikant is former Professor and Head of the Department of English H. N. B. Garhwal University and a former Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. He has been a Visiting Professor at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. He is a critic and a translator, and his writings on postcolonial literatures, literary theory and contemporary culture have appeared in a wide range of books and journals such as The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Journal of Literary Criticism, Ariel, Postcolonial Text, Asiatic, Literary Criterion, Journal of Contemporary Thought, South Asian Diaspora, and Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. His publications include Critical Spectrum: Essays in Literary Culture (2004). He was editor of the journal Summerhill: IIAS Review (2008- 2013).
ISBN No: 9789382396581