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Arun Joshi's Novels : A Critical Study

Siddhartha Sharma, Atlantic, 2004, viii, 136 p, ISBN : 812690318X, $20.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Arun Joshi's Novels : A Critical Study/Siddhartha Sharma

Contents: Preface. 1. The modern Indian-English novel and Arun Joshi. 2. The Foreigner. 3. The Strange Case of Billy Biswas. 4. The Apprentice. 5. The Last Labyrinth. 6. The City and the River. 7. The Summing-up. Bibliography. Index.

"The present book seeks to present Arun Joshi as a novelist of great merit and as an author of rare sensitivity. It reveals his instinctive ability to articulate the feelings of the post-independence Indians trapped between the Indian ethos and western influences. It also reveals his psychological insight and understanding of the inner lives of the beleaguered protagonists. The study has been made comprehensive enough to reveal the various perspectives of Joshi's novels, thereby helping research scholars whet their critical faculties and appreciate Arun Joshi's originality as a great Indian English novelist.

"The book comprises seven chapters. The first chapter is on modern Indian-English novel and the place Arun Joshi holds in its context. The subsequent five chapters are named after Arun Joshi's five novels. The second chapter, The Foreigner, is about the protagonist Sindi Oberoi's loneliness and feelings of anguish and anxiety born of his estrangement from his environment, tradition and his true self. The third chapter, The Strange Case of Billy Biswas, is about the protagonist Billy Biswas's suffering from the crisis of self, problems of identity and his quest for fulfilment. The fourth chapter, The Apprentice, is about Ratan Rathor, who feels confused and lost in a world full of chaos, corruption, hypocrisy and absurdity. The fifth chapter, The Last Labyrinth, is about Som Bhaskar's infatuation with Anuradha, and his essential anxiety and mystical urge for the vitals of life. The sixth chapter, The City and the River, is a parable of the times, which also explores of the world indeed belongs to God and to no one else. The seventh chapter, "The Summing-up", shows why Arun Joshi holds a place of singular distinction in contemporary Indian writing in English. Since not many books, reviews and articles have been written on Arun Joshi, this book will prove very fruitful and informative to the research scholars and men with critical faculties." (jacket)

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