Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Beautiful Literature of the Indian Subcontinent, Part II

5. I'm sure I don't need to remind anybody about the existence of the inimitable Salman Rushdie. Sadly, more people know about the fatwah against him than have actually read his beautiful The Satanic Verses: A Novel.

If you were told that this novel is filled with hatred against Islam, don't believe that. No book has taught me to respect Islam more than this one. The rage that informs this novel is not directed at Islam. It is rather addressed to the British Imperialism.

Rushdie possesses a sense of humor that is absolutely unique and this is what makes his books so great.

Other great books by this author inlcude Midnight's Children: A Novel and Shame: A Novel.

6. Arundhati Roy is not only a fantastic writer but also a political activist. She is an author of a great novel The God of Small Things: A Novel but she has also written important political treatises, such as The Cost of Living, An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire and Power Politics (Second Edition).

7. Sara Suleri was born in Pakistan and now lives in the US. This talented author of Meatless Days was my professor at Yale. She is the main reason why I know so much about the literature of the Indian Subcontinent and why I love it so much.

As a scholar of lierature in English, she also wrote The Rhetoric of English India and Boys Will Be Boys: A Daughter's Elegy.

Many of the very few pleasurable moments I experienced at Yale had to do with Professor Suleri and her great class on the Literature of the Empire.

8. I'm sure most of my readers have heard of Aravind Adiga, whose novel The White Tiger (Fifth Impression) has sold an incredible number of copies all over the world.

Adiga is a cosmopolitan in the true sense of the world. Born in Madras, he later emigrated to Sydney, Australia. Then, he went to Columbia University to get a degree in English literature. He also studied at Magdalen College in Oxford. Now, Aravind Adiga is living in Mumbai where he writes his beautiful novels.

His novel The White Tiger: A Novel (Man Booker Prize) won the Booker Prize in 2008 and became an international sensation. Adiga is an author of an unassailable integrity. His portrayal of India doesn't shirk away from presenting his readers with the harsh realities of this country.

Adiga also published Between the Assassinations, a collection of interlinked short stories.
9. Shaila Abdullah is originally from Pakistan. Her novel has a lot in common with Moshin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist that I reviewed recently (Part I is here and Part II is here.) It deals with the painful consequences of the tragedy of 9/11 for the New York based Muslims. The novel is beuatifully nuanced and very powerful.

1 comment:

Kola said...

I have bought Rushdie's Satanic Verses twice, and lost them to friends who never returned them. It's one of my favourite novels. The prose is splendid, the humour is wicked, and the story is just very absorbing. And I've been told that Midnight's Children has a better prose pattern so I'm looking forward into reading that.

Beside Indians, Irish writers are my favourite English novelists.