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Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
Outlook.com

Queen's Ransom

Desani stirred the first Indian literary storm abroad, later Rushdie smashed a few literary barriers. After Vikram Seth and Amitav Ghosh, the deluge.

Queen's Ransom
Queen's Ransom
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The story of Indians writing fiction in English goes back a few decades before our independence. The pioneers were a trio comprising Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao and R.K. Narayan. Their impact was limited. Mulk Raj Anand roused the consciousness of the British and upper-class Indians to the exploitation of poor Indians; he was a Marxist propagandist, and used his pen like a sledgehammer to drive his point home. Raja Rao, who began promisingly with some delightfully humorous short stories, turned back to exploiting the mystical and spiritual aspects of India. R.K. Narayan remained a simple storyteller. None of his novels or stories has the ingredients I consider integral to fiction: sex, violence or pithy turns of phrases. It was the patronage of The Hindu that turned him into an icon of South Indians. He remains to this day the most widely read Indian of his times.

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