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India Fifty Years After Independence: Images In Literature, Film And The Media

Authors: Kathleen Firth

Published by Peepal Tree Press

ISBN: 9781900715409

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Focusing on literature, film and the broadcast media, these essays are drawn from a conference at the University of Barcelona in Spain to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of India's independence. The essays look both backwards and forwards in time, both to developments within India and to the growth of Indian communities settled throughout the world.

In particular, the volume explores the position of women, both in literary and filmic portrayals, and through the emergence of important women's voices in Indian writing.

In the first section, dealing with writing both in English and Indian languages, Murari Prasad traces the evolution of feminist ideas; Mary Condé explores anglophone women's writing with particular reference to Arundhati Roy and to expatriate writers in North America such as Bharati Mukerjee; and Elizabeth Russell discusses issues of identity in Indian women's writing in relationship to theories of gender and ethnicity.

In the second section, which focuses on the defining voices of Indian nationalism, C.D. Narasimhaiah pays homage to the founding fathers of Indian writing, Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. Syd Harrex analyses the work of R.K. Narayan and Savita Goel discusses the contemporary images of Rohinton Mistry.

The third section deals with Indian writing in the diaspora. Kathleen Firth looks at the twice-displaced writer M.G. Vassanji; Rajana Ash focuses on the work of Indian women writers currently working in Britain; and Felicity Hand looks at the position of the Asian community in Britain through the work of such writers as Hanif Kureishi.

The final section examines the development of Indian film and broadcast media. Somdatta Mandal deals with Bengali nationalism and print media; Daya Thusu surveys the evolution of Indian media into the late-nineties and Sara Martin compares Western images of India in film with India's own film industry.

"...this book is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to introduce themselves to Indian literature from 1947 to the present day from the Indian diaspora, with slighter chapters on film and the media. This book contextualises key figures of Indian literature, both novelist and poets, within the political and social aftermath of Partition, and offers insight to the complex issues of identity tackled by many post-colonial writers with key references to postmodern theorists including Edward Said, Helene Cixous, and Julia Kristeva."
Parm Kaur, Black Alliance Newsletter

Dr Kathleen Firth teaches in Spain at the University of Barcelona. She has researched the area of overseas South Asian literature.
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