Between Two Worlds

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This work is about the narration of nation in the novels of Salman Rushdie and in post-Rushdie Indo-English fiction. It is an attempt to evaluate the articulation of national identity in these narratives as part of their endeavor to forge a postcolonial rupture with colonial history. While the tradition tries to retrieve its right to narrate its own story, the deep contradiction at the heart of these narratives is expressed in their conventions by which the “native” makes his reappearance in the postcolonial context and versions of nation often emerge as the underbelly of their colonial counterparts. While such projections of national identity may be a part of the still continuing colonial cultural legacy, the literary and academic success of such “exotic” ventures play no less significant a role in the production and proliferation of these narratives, mostly published in the West.


“This is an ambitious and erudite work, attentive in its reading of major contemporary critics in postcolonial theory, and promising for its contribution to a nuanced understanding of the workings of split consciousness in select works from the Indian subcontinent. The work focuses on the many ways in which the concept of the nation has been constructed and deconstructed implicitly and explicitly in Indo-English literature in the twentieth century.” – Dr. Deepika Bahri, Director of the Asian Studies Program, Emory University

"Dr. Chowdhury’s book is a strong and polemical critique of the politics of postcolonial theory in relation to the literature from the Indian subcontinent ... By analyzing and explicating the culturally specific dimensions of the works, she provides new, pre-emptive readings and a new evaluation of their political or ideological stance.” – Professor Patricia Smart, Distinguished Research Professor, Carleton University

“What is refreshingly new about the analysis is, while conscious of the inevitability of speaking to some extent from within a dominant Western theoretical/critical framework ... the work attempts to develop a resistant strategy of reading texts, relying more on the intra-historical valences of the cultures represented ... than on theoretical/literary frameworks that tend to subject these narratives to the cultural demands of marketing difference.” – Professor Jacques Chevalier, Professor of Anthropology, Carleton University

Table of Contents

1 Nation, Narration and Postcoloniality – The Orientalist Aftermath
2 Postcolonial Fiction: Submission in Insurgency
3 Pickling Nation – The Art of Salman Rushdie in Midnight’s Children and Shame
4 A Postcolonial Tragedy – Sara Suleri’s Meatless Days
5 Postcolonial Performance: The Representation of India in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things

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