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Postcolonial Literary History and Indian English Fiction By Paul Sharrad ...

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Postcolonial Literary History and Indian English Fiction

Introduction Handcuffed to History

This book originates as a collection of essays on fiction from an “Indian Writing in English” context (this is understood as including writing from the Indian diaspora that engages with the subcontinent). Produced over two decades now—sometimes as conference papers, occasionally as developments from lectures, and not infrequently as extensions of book —these commentaries come together here because kind readers have found some of them useful and rashly suggested they might be better collected than scattered through journals, some of which have suffered the fate of literary journals everywhere (found now gathering dust in the basements of a few university libraries or the broom cupboards of English departments, since even librarians these days find the printed text an encumbrance in an age of cost-effective, space-saving, online databases). Chapters can be read independently (so there is some repetition of detail here and there), but they cohere around general discussion about the place of Indian English fiction in the national literary story, the strategies of “postcolonial” texts in English in their tussle to both acknowledge and break from the cultural traditions attending the use of a European and colonial language, and theoretical questions about how postcolonial literary history might be rethought against ideas of History as a dominant epistemology.