P. V. Laxmi Prasad’s Review of Postcolonial Readings in Indo-Anglian Literature
K. V. Dominic’s (ed.) Postcolonial Readings in Indo-Anglian Literature.New Delhi, Authors Press, 2009. Hard Bound. ISBN 978-81-7273-479-4. xiii+306 pp. Rs. 800.
P. V. Laxmi Prasad
The quality stamp of an Editor lies in the successful publication of a book or any composition. With an experience of several years as the editor of IJPCL, Prof. K. V. Dominic has come out with yet another published book to his credit. Postcolonial Readings in Indo-Anglian Literature is Dominic’s edited collection of articles published previously in IJPCL. The book is published by Authorspress, a reputed publisher from New Delhi. There are thirty critical writings by thirty writers. An index of contents is also appended for the convenience of the readers. The editor traces the roots of post-colonialism, its growth and development over the years with narrative noodles in his preface. He is thoroughly justified in his remark that reads like this, “It is a paradox that when the west is trying to absorb the Indian values, the modern Indians just trample them” (Dominic vii). The focus is, no doubt, on postcolonial readings upholding India’s rich cultural past, tradition, ethos, myth and folklore. The contributors of the papers are either working teachers or retired professors in colleges and universities. I hold them a good bench of poets, short-story writers and accomplished translators. If one looks at the quality of contents, they are judiciously selected for the purpose. The editor deservedly fulfils the purpose from readers’ usefulness and approach to postcolonial readings. Famous works of great Indo-Anglian novelists, poets, playwrights and short story writers are studied in this book, bringing out postcolonial elements. A few articles are theoretical discourses on postcolonialism. Studies on the original writers range from Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, R. K. Narayan, Kamala Markandaya, Anita Desai, Nissim Ezekiel, down to modern day writers like Khushwant Singh, Shashi Deshpande, Basavaraj Naikar, PCK Prem, Rohinton Mistry, Rama Mehta, Arundhati Roy, H. S. Shiva Prakash, Sashi Tharoor, Bama, Manju Kapoor, Premanand Gajeev and Sara Joseph. The contributors of the anthology include reputed writers like late K. Ayyappa Panicker, Basawaraj Naiker, D. C. Chambial, G. S. Jayasree, M. A. Jeyaraju, Jaydeep Sarangi, Aju Mukhopadhyay and K. V. Dominic. All pieces are equally well–written to the critical core of readers’ tastes and understanding. The editor proves his prowess by combining the writers and the worth of articles. To cite a few, D. C. Chambial’s article, “Post-Colonial Imaging of Human suffering” and PCK Prem’s “Oracles of the Last Decade” are indeed excellent pieces from the critic’s point of view. There are other pieces to follow this and each of them has an intrinsic value in the write-ups. “The Short Story Genre, Postcolonialism and Woman Writers” by H. Kalpana is an innovative paper to highlight the predicament and dilemma of women. “The Tragic Dilemma of Larins Sahib” by Basvaraj Naikar exhibits the laws of life that eventually punish the man when he loses the right perspective to rational thinking. R. K. Narayan continues to be adored on the pages of any published collection. K. V. Dominic’s “R. K. Narayan’s The Guide: A Postcolonial Reading” traces the settings of the novel in postcolonial background. Bhagabat Nayak’s “Socio-ethical Perspectives in Basavaraj Naikar’s Fictional World . . .” presents a despicable saga of Indian guides under whom Ph. D. registered scholars continue to get disillusioned. “To get a Ph. D under such a difficult guide means to enter “the cave, hold dialogues with a tiger and came out safe” (268)” (Nayak 165). The suffering of Nandiswar is the suffering of similarly attuned scholars in Indian universities. “Commenting on guide-scholar relationship, Naikar observes, “This is the reason why brilliant Indians want to leave India and settle down in Foreign countries where they are recognized and respected” (277) (Nayak 165).
All in all, I can lay a greater emphasis first on the selection of original authors and then on the article-contributors. This is where the collection is a real intellectual feast to the reading fraternity as strongly wished by Prof. K. V. Dominic. Composition of the book is absolutely flawless with the cover pages giving glimpses of beauty. The book covers maximum secondary sources under each published articles. It is hoped that the book will surely cater to the needs of the students of post-colonial literature from academic and research pursuits.
Dominic, K. V. Preface. Postcolonial Readings in Indo-Anglian Literature. Ed.
K. V. Dominic. New Delhi: Authorspress, 2009. v-vii. Print.
Nayak, Bhagabat. “Socio-ethical Perspectives in Basawaraj Naikar’s Fictional World: A Study of The Rebellious Rani of Belvadi and Other Stories.” Postcolonial Readings in Indo-Anglian Literature. Ed. K. V. Dominic. New Delhi: Authorspress, 2009. 147-166. Print.