The Indian Graphic Novel: Nation, history and critique, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Indian Graphic Novel

Nation, history and critique, 1st Edition

By Pramod K. Nayar

Routledge India

216 pages | 4 Color Illus. | 21 B/W Illus.

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This book is a detailed study of the Indian graphic novel as a significant category of South Asian literature. It focuses on the genre’s engagement with history, memory and cultural identity and its critique of the nation in the form of dissident histories and satire. Deploying a nuanced theoretical framework, the volume closely examines major texts such as The Harappa Files, Delhi Calm, Kari, Bhimayana, Gardener in the Wasteland, Pao Anthology, and authors and illustrators including Sarnath Banerjee, Vishwajyoti Ghosh, Durgabai Vyam, Amrutha Patil, Srividya Natarajan and others. It also explores — using key illustrations from the texts — critical themes like contested and alternate histories, urban realities, social exclusion, contemporary politics, and identity politics.

A major intervention in Indian writing in English, this volume will be of great importance to scholars and researchers of South Asian literature, cultural studies, art and visual culture, and sociology.


‘Pramod Nayar’s analysis of nationalism and Indian graphic narratives is an insightful and valuable contribution to the growing field of comics scholarship. The rigor of his approach and engagement with a range of theories facilitates an important understanding of the medium.’

Jeffrey Brown, Associate Professor, Department of Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University, USA, author of Black Superheroes: Milestone Comics and Their Fans

The Indian Graphic Novel comes to its subject from a rich grounding in the historical and literary specifics . . . analytical concepts informed by a broadly conceived Cultural Studies and important recent work . . . Nayar has produced a fine grained reading of the Indian graphic novel.’

Ian Lewis Gordon, Associate Professor, Department of History, National University of Singapore, Singapore, author of Comic Strips and Consumer Culture, 1890–1945 and co-editor of Film and Comic Books

'On the whole, however, Nayar's work is a triumph. This book deserves to be on college syllabi and on the bookshelves of comics lovers.'

The Hindu Business Line

Table of Contents

Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction: The Graphic Turn in Indian Writing in English 1. Graphic History 2. Urban Graphic 3. Cultural Graphics 4. Drawing (On) Other Histories 5. Graphic Satire Conclusion: The Graphic Narrative and Critical Literacy Bibliography. Index.

About the Author

Pramod K. Nayar teaches at the Department of English, University of Hyderabad, India. His most recent books include Citizenship and Identity in the Age of Surveillance (2015); Posthumanism (2014); Frantz Fanon (2013); the edited collection, Women in Colonial India: Historical Documents and Sources (Routledge, 2014) and Writing Wrongs: The Cultural Constructions of Human Rights in India (Routledge, 2012).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies