Continuities in Indian English Poetry: nation language form
By  GJV Prasad

This is the first major study of the entire history of Indian English poetry from Derozio till date. The book examines Indian English poetry in terms of the nation, the language, and poetic forms. It establishes the connections between various Indian English poets writing over the better part of the past two centuries and explores the continuities that link their poetry. Analysing the contexts of both pre- and post- Independence poets, the book revaluates the contours of their poetry, highlighting the poets’ awareness of the language issue, their attempts to contextualise themselves in their India(s), and their search for poetic security and discipline.
All the major Indian English poets are discussed in detail and many of their poems come in for new readings. This study also examines the reception of this poetry and establishes the nature and standpoints of existing criticism. A well researched and theoretically informed book, it is written for the serious scholar as well as the student and the (un)common reader of poetry. This is also a study that will give direction to all future criticism of Indian English poetry.

GJV Prasad is Professor of English and Chairperson of the Centre for English Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His major research interests are Indian English Literature, Dalit Writings, Contemporary Theatre, Translation Theory, and Australian Literature. Prasad is also a well-known Indian English poet and novelist – his novel A Clean Breast was short listed for the Commonwealth Prize for best first book from the Eurasia region in 1994, and his collection of poems, In Delhi without a Visa (1996) is considered a path-breaking volume. He is a recipient of the Katha award for translation from Tamil. He has co-edited with Sara Rai a collection of stories from Indian languages, Imaging the Other. His academic publications include the following books: Continuities in Indian English Poetry: nation language form and two edited volumes of critical essays, Vikram Seth: An Anthology of Recent Criticism, and The Lost Temper: Essays on Look Back in Anger. He has edited the Penguin (now Longman) Study Edition of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and also of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger. He is the current editor of JSL, the Journal of the School of Language, Literature & Culture Studies, JNU, and Secretary of the Indian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies.

ISBN 81-85753-30-X           1999           198 pp           Rs.400 (hb)
The book manages to become both a substantial and an objective examination of facts on Indian poetry in English. I would want every college or university library, to be able to afford such books.
The Indian Review of Books, Chennai