Secularism in the Postcolonial Indian Novel

National and Cosmopolitan Narratives in English

By Neelam Srivastava

© 2007 – Routledge

224 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415759502
pub: 2015-05-08
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Hardback: 9780415402958
pub: 2007-09-11
US Dollars$130.00
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About the Book

This study explores the connections between a secular Indian nation and fiction in English by a number of postcolonial Indian writers of the 1980s and 90s. Examining writers such as Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Shashi Tharoor, and Rohinton Mistry, with particularly close readings of Midnight?s Children, A Suitable Boy, The Shadow Lines and The Satanic Verses, Neelam Srivastava investigates different aspects of postcolonial identity within the secular framework of the Anglophone novel. The book traces the breakdown of the Nehruvian secular consensus between 1975 and 2005 through these narratives of postcolonial India. In particular, it examines how these writers use the novel form to re-write colonial and nationalist versions of Indian history, and how they radically reinvent English as a secular language for narrating India. Ultimately, it delineates a common conceptual framework for secularism and cosmopolitanism, by arguing that Indian secularism can be seen as a located, indigenous form of a cosmopolitan identity.

About the Author

Neelam Srivastava is lecturer in postcolonial literature at Newcastle University, UK. She has published on Indian literature in English and anti-colonial cinema, and has co-edited a special issue of the journal Interventions on colonial and postcolonial Italy.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures

Edited in collaboration with the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, University of Kent at Canterbury, Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures presents a wide range of research into postcolonial literatures by specialists in the field. Volumes concentrate on writers and writing originating in previously (or presently) colonized areas, and include material from non-anglophone as well as anglophone colonies and literatures.

Part of our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections, this series considers postcolonial literature alongside topics such as gender, race, ecology, religion, politics, and science. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics. Series editors: Donna Landry and Caroline Rooney

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General