Friday, October 23, 2009

Novel in India - Major Indian Novelists and Their Works

The roots of the novel form appeared in the ancient times in India. Some authors such as Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (Ananda Math, 1882) paved the way for defining the national consciousness through their novels before the 20th century. Then, the form developed gradually.

If we talk about the early 20th century, Premchand was a major novelist. His works brilliantly portrayed life in the central India. During the 1920s to 1930s the novels of Mulk Raj Anand depicted the condition of India's poor and dispossessed. R. K. Narayan wrote about the middle-class Indian's position in society in his novels like The Financial Expert (1952) and The Guide (1958).

The 20th-century Indian literature was inspired and affected by the partition of the country into two nations: India and Pakistan. Most of the novels, such as Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan (1956), Bapsi Sidhwa's Ice-Candy-Man (1988), evoked the hostility, violence and disintegration of partition. Sometimes partition was featured as a major element of the setting. For instance; Anita Desai set Clear Light of Day (1980) against the background of partition describing about a Delhi family.

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