Handbook of Twentieth-Century Literatures of India

by Nalini Natarajan

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Cover image for Handbook of Twentieth-Century Literatures of India

September 1996


Pages 448
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics The Arts/General
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    Hardcover: £58.00/63,00€/A$97.00

India has a rich literary assemblage produced by its many different regional traditions, religious faiths, ethnic subcultures and linguistic groups. The published literature of the 20th century is a particularly interesting subject and is the focus of this book, as it represents the provocative conjuncture of the transitions of Indian modernity. This reference book surveys the major regional literatures of contemporary India in the context of the country's diversity and heterogeneity. Chapters are devoted to particular regions, and the arrangement of the work invites comparisons of literary traditions. Chapters provide extensive bibliographies of primary works, thus documenting the creative achievement of numerous contemporary Indian authors. Some chapters cite secondary works as well, and the volume concludes with a list of general works providing further information.

An introductory essay overviews theoretical concerns, ideological and aesthetic considerations, developments in various genres, and the history of publishing in regional literatures. The introduction provides a context for approaching the chapters that follow, each of which is devoted to the literature of a particular region. Each chapter begins with a concise introductory section. The body of each chapter is structured according to social and historical events, literary forms, or broad descriptive or analytic trends, depending on the particular subject matter. Each chapter then closes with an extensive bibliography of primary works, thus documenting the rich literary tradition of the region. Some chapters also cite secondary sources as an aid to the reader. The final chapters of the book address special topics, such as sub-cultural literatures, or the interplay between literature and film. A list of additional sources of general information concludes the volume.

Table of Contents

Introduction--Regional Literature of India: Paradigms and Contexts by Nalini NatarajanTwentieth-Century Assamese Literature by Mahasveta BaruaTwentieth-Century Bengali Literature by Sudipto Chatterjee and Hasan FerdousTwentieth-Century Indian Literature in English by Alpana Sharma KnipplingTwentieth-Century Gujarati Literature by Sarala Jag MohanTwentieth-Century Hindi Literature by Nandi BhatiaTwentieth-Century Kannada Literature by Ramachandra DevaTwentieth-Century Malayalam Literature by Thomas PalakeelTwentieth-Century Marathi Literature by Shripad DeoTwentieth-Century Punjabi Literature by Atamjit SinghTwentieth-Century Tamil Literature by P.S. SriTwentieth-Century Telugu Literature by G.K. Subbarayudu and C. VijayasreeTwentieth-Century Urdu Literature by Omar QureshiSpecial TopicsDalit Literature in Marathi by Veena DeoParsi Literature in English by C. VijayasreeSanskrit Poetics by Arasu BalanPerspectives on Bengali Literature and Film by Mitali Pati and Suranjan GangulyIndex



The Indian press played a vital role in colonial India, and by the close of the 19th century it was virtually an irresistible force. Indian literature comprises the religious and secular; epic, dramatic, and didactic poetry; narrative; and scientific prose....A very well-written and researched introduction provides a birds-eye view of the whole scene....Beautifully printed and bound...this will be a valuable addition to the collections of college and university libraries supporting South Asian studies and of large public libraries.— Choice intelligent, complex, deeply thoughtful study that explores India's multilingual subjectivity with thoroughness and scholarly sensitity. It is rich, varied, and quintessentially Indian, both in substance and in perspective.—Journal of Third World Studies


Choice Outstanding Academic Book, 1997

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