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Thursday, Sep 23, 2021
Outlook.com

A Second Audience

Happily, Justin Trotter, home from limbo, is back on the shelves

A Second Audience
A Second Audience
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Since 1988 the Trotter-Nama has appeared in India in three avatars: the Viking (England) hardback, the Penguin India paperback and now a handsome India Ink reissue. Reviewing it a decade ago for The Hindustan Times, I assumed it would remain in print forever. It was a big, wonderful novel and if novels then didn't get the send-offs they do now, there were fewer of them on the ground and less competition for the reader's attention. When the Trotter-Nama was published you could count the good new Indian novelists writing in English on the fingers of one hand and have two fingers left over: not counting Rushdie, there was Amitav Ghosh, Vikram Seth and Upamanyu Chatterjee. All three had written one novel at the time: The Circle of Reason (Ghosh), English, August (Chatterjee) and The Golden Gate (Vikram Seth). Ghosh's The Shadow Lines was about to be published but second novels by Chatterjee and Seth were some years away. There was lots of room for even as large a literary vessel as the Trotter-Nama. But despite its enthusiastic admirers, it sank.

The reason it...

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