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A Raj Collection

 
Saros Cowasjee (Editor)
Synopsis The most enduring legacy of the British Raj in India has been the literature it occasioned. While Kipling, Forster, and Orwell may have become household names over the years, there are other lesser known writers whose contribution is equally important. It is these writers, with their body of work, who make Raj fiction into a genre of its own. The four novels in this volume, together, span the entire period of Raj literature, offering a vivid portrait colonial India from the time of Kipling to Indian independence. They trace the changing relationship between the rulers and the ruled from the heyday of the empire to its demise in 1947, and add to our understanding of the British and their predicament in India. With the possible exception of Kipling's Kim, there is not a Raj novel of distinction that has steered clear of the question of Indian nationalism. Steel's On the face of the Waters is about the Indian Mutiny of 1857, now frequently referred to as India's first war of independence. Candler's Siri Ram--revolutionist, as the title suggests, deals with an Indian revolutionary. The treatment is unsympathetic, but the issue is faced squarely, bearing in mind British thinking of the time. Weston's Indigo offers the most dignified portrait of nationalist in the making, while Mason's the Wild Sweet Witch presents a nationalist who is, despite his failings, brave and honest. Mason, however, goes a step further by admitting that the time for Indian freedom has arrived. Compiled and edited by Saros Cowasjee, this collection comes with a comprehensive introduction offering the reader a valuable insight into the literary imagination at work in that era. All novels have been out of print for several years and almost impossible to procure. The decision to revive these is based largely on the continued fascination with Anglo-Indian writing and its growing importance in critical postcolonial discourses. Prepared with the general reader in mind, this anthology should also fascinate students of English literature and all those interested in colonial history and constructions of race and gender.
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About the author

Saros Cowasjee

Saros Cowasjee is Professor Emeritus at the University of Regina, Canada.

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Bibliographic information

Title A Raj Collection
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195665007
length l+1031p., 22cm.