South Asian Writing

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Course Objective

The course will examine contemporary literary writing from a number of South Asian countries (in English or translation) in addition to India, such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. It will relate the predominant thematic and narrative concerns of these writings to the embattled political, economic, cultural and national terrains they emerge from - sites of a colonized past and, more recently, of determined but grossly uneven ‘development’ - and analyze the ways in which these writings mould and re-shape conventional literary forms and genres in the process.

Course Content

The course will include discussions on the place of the English language and “imported” literary forms in South Asia, the fragmented and divided terrain of the South Asian city/nation, the figure of the expatriate writer, and the context within which to understand the stylistic and narrative aspects of this writing. It will undertake detailed analyses of the works of 3-4 writers, out of a longer list comprising Anita Desai, G V Desani, Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Vikram Seth, Kiran Nagarkar, Aravind Adiga, Jeet Thayyil, Mohammed Hanif, Mohsin Hamid, Shyam Sevadurai, Romesh Gunesekhera, and others.
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