Contemporary Indian Writing in English between Global Fiction and Transmodern Historiography

Author: Christoph Senft
This study offers a comprehensive overview of Indian writing in English in the 21st century. Through ten exemplary analyses in which canonical authors stand next to less well-known and diasporic ones Christoph Senft provides deep insights into India’s complex literary world and develops an argumentative framework in which narrative texts are interpreted as transmodern re-readings of history, historicity and memory. Reconciling different postmodern and postcolonial theoretical approaches to the interpretation and construction of literature and history, Senft substitutes traditional, Eurocentric and universalistic views on past and present by decolonial and pluralistic practices. He thus helps to better understand the entanglements of colonial politics and cultural production, not only on the subcontinent.

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Christoph Senft, Dr. phil., Universität Potsdam, is lecturer at Pune University and Director of the DAAD Information Centre Pune. He has published articles on contemporary Indian literature and co-edited Just Politics? Ökokritische Perspektiven im postkolonialen Raum (Unrast, 2014).
“The merits of the book can be found in its close readings, which are articulated from well-defined theoretical perspectives. Chistoph Senft is conscious of the pitfalls in studying a complex pluralistic society such as India.”
- E. V. Ramakrishnan, Central University of Gujarat, India in Recherche Littéraire/Literary Research, Vol. 33 2017 pp. 68-71
1. Introduction
2. Stories, Histories, Theories
3. History between Secularism and Speculation: In Times of Siege (2003)
4. Microcosms of Modernity: Sea of Poppies (2008)
5. The Personal as Global: Shalimar the Clown (2005)
6. The Future of the Past: The Last Jet Engine Laugh (2001)
7. Historical Imagination beyond Memory and Ideology: Solo (2009)
8. Disclosing Suppression, Narrating Neglect: The Point of Return (2002)
9. Writing the Unspeakable: Fireproof (2006)
10. Deconstructing Colonial Epistemologies: The Thing About Thugs (2010)
11. Urban Imaginaries of Past and Present: Maximum City (2004)
12. Songs of Faith and Devotion: The Music Room (2007)
13. Conclusion
14. Works Cited
15. Index
All interested in contemporary Indian literature in English. Students and scholars concerned with postcolonial literary and cultural studies, Anglophone literatures and philosophy of history.