From Leda e il Cigno to Masala Coke, or from the English Novel in India to the Indian Novel Written in English around the World

Rossella Ciocca


Indian culture is playing an increasingly imposing role in shaping new scenarios of globalization. This article attempts to highlight the contribution offered to the international literary scene by the multifarious variegated corpus of fiction represented by the Anglophone Indian novel, both in its domestic and diasporic dimensions. In recent years, writers from the Indian subcontinent have achieved a global readership and a prominent translational status. This is manifest for instance in their repeated appearances on shortlists for international book prizes. This study aims to trace, in the peculiar hybrid quality of the Indian novel in English, some recurrent trends which are, nonetheless, discernible. Its emergence from the colonial encounter and the subsequent birth of nationalist feelings and awareness have marked for example its dominant preoccupation with both history and nation and these come together to shape its ineluctably post-colonial character. The concern with place/displacement, with identity and belonging, and above all with the question of language, cannot but be topical to the literature of a country which has seen the rise of the genre in coincidence with the fundamental experiences of foreign domination, the conquest of independence, and mass migration.


Novel; Anglophone; Indian; Diasporic; Post-colonial; Monica Ali; Kiran Desai

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