South Asian Partition Fiction in English: From Khushwant Singh to Amitav Ghosh
South Asian Partition Fiction in English: From Khushwant Singh to Amitav Ghosh explores a significant cross-section of South Asian fiction in English written on the theme of Partition from the mid-1950s to the late 1980s, and shows how the Partition novel in English traverses a very interesting trajectory during this period – from just ‘reporting’ the cataclysmic event to theorizing about it.
The six novels selected for study (Train to Pakistan, A Bend in the Ganges, Ice-Candy-Man, Clear Light of Day, Midnight’s Children, and The Shadow Lines) show that, essentially, three factors shape the contours and determine the thrust of the narratives – the time in which the novelists are writing; the value they attach to women as subjects of this traumatic history; and the way they perceive the concept of the nation.
“By a fresh reading of six novels that are representative of the various perspectives on the Partition of the subcontinent, and placing them in a larger historical and literary context, dr. Roy’s book fills an important lacuna in current criticism, and does it convincingly.”
— Peter Liebregts, Professor of Modern Literatures in English, Leiden
“In this thoughtful and thoroughly readable book, Rituparna Roy looks at fictional representations of the cataclysmic birth-pangs of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and indicates how literary envisionings mesh in with reportage, historiography, nationhood, femininity and personal identity.”
— Subir Dhar, Professor of English Literature, Rabindra Bharati University
Rituparna Roy taught English Literature for several years at Basantidevi College, affiliated under the University of Calcutta. She is currently a Fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) at Amsterdam, where she is working on an independent post-doctoral project.