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Saturday, Oct 16, 2021
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A Back Home History

A bold attempt to invent a full, enabling literary tradition for the IWE

A Back Home History
A Back Home History
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
IN the small town school where Arvind Krishna Mehrotra and I acquired our haphazard education shortly after Independence—we children of midnight!—the Anglo-Indian boys sported a strange arrogance, distancing themselves from us by pointedly referring to an imagined England as "home": thus, things were always better "back home". This admirable history is an attempt to tell the reverse story, the return of the native—the Indian writer in English (iwe), thoughtlessly exiled by cultural-nationalists and often even by himself, to a cultural limbo—back to a home that has, in the meantime, itself become ambiguous, dispersed, gone missing, become "home". (So, AKM and I have known each other a long time and connoisseurs of human relationships, no sentimentalists, will of course discount the accents of malice and envy in my review of this handsome volume!)

Long years in the making, the Illustrated History of Indian Literature in English—hereafter ihile—brings together 24 especially commissioned essays on different aspects of its protean, plastic subject. The...

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