Makers of Indian English Literature
Edited by  C.D. Narasimhaiah

This comprehensive study of the ‘makers’ of Indian English Literature ranges from the sporadic but landmark voices of the nineteenth century to the spurting creativity in the post-Rushdie, contemporary scenario. The contributors, unswayed by the increasing threat of publisher-media offensive to appropriate the critical function, firmly adhere to the time-tested tradition of explorations, discriminations, empathy and evaluation. They interrogate inflated reputations, underscore unnoticed achievements, and probe the much contested inadequacy of Indian English Poetry and the paucity of Indian English Drama. The literary discourse is largely focussed on tradition and avant-garde, indigeneous roots and Western influences, colonial and post-colonial perspectives, and self-identity and hetrogeneity (even hybridity) in Indian English Writing.

The volume also investigates the problematic of using the English language to filter an Indian experience, especially in terms of departures from Standard English constructions, semantic neologisms, nativization of the language, and cross-cultural significations. It scrutinizes the three alternatives of transcreation, etymological use and transliteration for moulding the English language into an Indian cast. Despite an increasing number of ‘unmakers’ of Indian English in Indian society (as argued in the last essay), the book paradoxically posits how the Indian English Writing has come alive as a vibrant, autonomous constituent of contemporary international English.

C.D. Narasimhaiah educated at the Uni-versities of Mysore and Cambridge, was Professor of English at the University of Mysore from 1950 to 1979. Rockefeller Fellow at Princeton (1949-50) and Fulbright Visiting Lecturer at Yale (1958-59), he was Visiting Professor at several universities, including Leeds (U.K.), Texas (U.S.A.), Queensland and Flinders (Australia). He is currently Director, The Literary Criterion Centre for English Studies and Indigenous Arts, Dhvanyaloka, Mysore.

Pioneer of American Literature studies in India in the fifties and sixties and of Commonwealth Literature studies in the seventies, Professor Narasimhaiah has authored numerous research articles and edited over a dozen books published, among others, by Macmillan and Oxford University Press. His major book-length studies include The Swan and the Eagle, Jawaharlal Nehru, Raja Rao, Writer’s Gandhi, Moving Frontiers of English Studies in India, and Indian Critical Scene: Controversial Essays.

Professor Narasimhaiah was elected (Global) Chairman, Association for Commonwealth Literature (1974-77), and President, All India English Teachers’ Conference (1989). Awarded Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in the year 1990, he ranks among the most sensitive, bold, and distinguished scholar-critics of India.

ISBN 81-85753-34-2           2003           296 pp          Rs.800 (hb)

This book is in the right direction in trying to evaluate a hundred years of Indian writing in English in an Indian ethos. All the hallowed names have one or two papers devoted for them in the book.
The Hindu

It is a laudable effort and a necessary inclusion in the growing number of critical volumes on Indian writing in English.
Indian Review of Books, Chennai