1st Edition

Literary Representations of Pandemics, Epidemics and Pestilence

Edited By Nishi Pulugurtha Copyright 2023
    204 Pages
    by Routledge India

    204 Pages
    by Routledge India

    Disease, pestilence and contagion have been an integral component of human lives and stories. This book explores the articulations and representations of the vulnerability of life or the trauma of death in literature about epidemics both from India and around the world.

    This book critically engages with stories and narratives that have dealt with pandemics or epidemics in the past and in contemporary times to see how these texts present human life coming to terms with upheaval, fear and uncertainty. Set in various places and times, the literature examined in this book explores the themes of human suffering and resilience, inequality, corruption, the ruin of civilizations and the rituals of grief and remembrance. The chapters in this volume cover a wide spatio-temporal trajectory analysing the writings of Fakir Mohan Senapati and Suryakant Tripathi Nirala, Jack London, Albert Camus, Margaret Atwood, Sarat Chand, Pandita Ramabai and Christina Sweeney-Baird, among others. It gives readers a glimpse into both grounded and fantastical realities where disease and death clash with human psychology and where philosophy, politics and social values are critiqued and problematized.

    This book will be of interest to students of English literature, social science, gender studies, cultural studies, psychology, society, politics and philosophy. General readers too will find this exciting as it covers authors from across the world.

    List of Contributors


    Nishi Pulugurtha

    I - Memory and Contagion

    1. "Vernacular Realities" in Epidemic Literature: Reading Fakir Mohan Senapati’s "Rebati" and Suryakant Tripathi Nirala’s Kulli Bhaat
    2. Sipra Mukherjee

    3. The Trauma and the Triumph: Katherine Anne Porter’s "Pale Horse, Pale Rider"
    4. Tania Chakravertty

    5. Pandemic and the Man-less Society: Problematizing Gender, Sex, and Sexuality in Christina Sweeney-Baird’s The End of Men
    6. Goutam Karmakar

      II - Uncanny Dilemmas

    7. The Decameron : Re-reading the Uncanny Riddle of Plague
    8. Riti Agarwala

    9. Mary Shelley's The Last Man: Dystopian Fiction and Pandemics
    10. Sarottama Majumdar

    11. Epidemic Anxiety and Narrative Aesthetics in Sarat Chandra's Palli Samaj and Pandit Mashay
    12. Subham Dutta

    13. Albert Camus' Rejoinder to the Absent God and the Absurdity of Existence in The Plague
    14. Sacaria Joseph

      III - Moving Between Language and Media

    15. "It Mattered Not From Whence It Came; But All Agreed It Was Come . . . ": Plague Narratives as Narratives of Media and Foreignness
    16. Amit R. Baishya

    17. Forgotten Difference: The Plague in Hindi and Urdu Literature
    18. Ishan Mehandru

    19. The Periwig Maker and Defoe: A Déjà vu Upon the Present
    20. Sanghita Sanyal

      IV - Fear, Disaster and Dystopia

    21. Pestilence, Death, Fear and a Testimony of Female Outrage: The 1897 Bombay Plague in the Writing of Pandita Ramabai
    22. Subarna Bhattacharya

    23. Pandemic as a Disaster: Narratives of Suffering and "Risk" in Twilight in Delhi
    24. Sumantra Baral

    25. Pandemic Fear: Death and the Ruin of Civilization in Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague
    26. Paramita Dutta De

    27. Pandemic and the End of the World in Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake
    28. Sayan Aich Bhowmik

      V - COVID-19, Public health and Social justice

    29. Power and the Pandemic Through Two Gothic Tropes
    30. Tabish Khair

    31. Following the Dead: Digital Obituaries as Rituals of Selective Remembrance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Yash Gupta





    Nishi Pulugurtha is Associate Professor at the Department of English, Brahmananda Keshab Chandra College, Kolkata, India.