[PDF Notes] Contemporary Indian novel writers Salman Rushdie, Bharati Mukharjee & Arundhati Roy

Salman Rushdies ‘Midnight’s Children’ has been greatly appreciated in India and abroad. This novel is based on India attaining independence on the midnight of 14-15 August, 1947. Rushdie may not be considered an Indo-Anglian novelist for his long stays abroad.

Arundhati Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things’. The novel which probably broke all previous Indian records in bringing royalty to the authoress is based on life in Kerala. It has a poetic, psychological setting with flashback style and “inventiveness of language”, and it brought the coveted Booker Prize to the young authoress.

There are several other Indian novelists who are making their presence felt in foreign lands, though in India itself, even if several novels are being published by Penguin Books, Rupa & Co, etc. Yet the readership seems to be shrinking or at least, it does not seem to be increasing impressively. But, as the Indians are now showing more and more maturity in their art, the Indian English fiction (including short stories) seems to be having a bright future.

Bharati Mukharjee has the theme of migration and transformation in her novel: “Jasmine” (Viking, Penguin India, 1990).

Mukherjee was born in Calcutta in 1940 and went to the USA in 1961.

‘Jasmine’, though presenting Mukherjee’s concept of Americanisms has its characters traverse large geographical locales like Hasnapur (a village in Punjab), Jalandhar, Florida, New York, etc. Moreover, at last Indianans is achieved by the protagonist, Jasmine, after a number of American experiences, some of which may not be quite comfortable for their macabre overtones or strange transformation process (from Jyoti To Jasmine-to Jazzy-to Jase-to Jane) and the recurring image of the broken pitcher.

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