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How to see India through literature

There are a lot of books that focus on India that are written by english speaking writers, why is this and what are some of the best examples of novels that truly portray this country?

  • For possible examples, Tagore is a great place to start. His novel The Home and the World goes into not only the effects of British imperialism, but the thoughts on trying to keep the peace and the rise of Indian nationalism. (Tagore was extremely critical of both British colonialism and Indian nationalism.) While he wrote in Bengali, he also translated his own works into English. Rudyard Kipling is also intriguing (though at times unsettling) as someone born in Bombay but educated in England. – Emily Deibler 6 years ago
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  • Many of the famous stories are also rooted in religions: Buddhism and Hinduism. Sikhs also have amazing stories. Some stories have been appropriated by the West though. Slumdog Millionaire is one example. The book represents India better since the writer is Indian but the screen play is written by a someone from England. Poetry is very important in Indian culture. Urdu is like the Italian of Sanskrit languages. Also there are links to Persian culture in terms of some of the more famous stories. Tagore was Bengali and they are known to be gifted in the arts as well. India is a very complex country with over 10 official languages and many regional differences. One of my favorite sayings in Indian culture is "Always remember you are the heroine of your own story.". A suitable quote for any drama queen. A good way to write this article may be to focus on one region or a few of the most famous authors, especially ones who have won Nobel prizes for literature. – Munjeera 6 years ago
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  • Another couple of examples are Salman Rushdie's Midnights Children, and Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things. Both of which have massive critical acclaim and popularity, and are written with a history of indian colonialism in mind. – Thomas Sutton 6 years ago
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  • Rohinton Misty is another writer who depicts India with beautiful perfection. Such A Long Journey is an old novel made into a movie (1990s). Old but good. To expand Michael Ondaatje, Sri Lankan, with English Patient novel to movie. Also old but good. – Munjeera 6 years ago
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  • Another interesting example is Gregory David Robert's Shantaram based on his own life story. He's an Australian who escapes from prison, ends up in India and becomes immersed in the culture there. He doesn't dismiss its imperfections or see it as simply exotic. India becomes his home, his family. – SarahPhilip 4 years ago
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