Minority Voices : The Indian English Novels of the 90s

Anil Kinger, Shree Niwas Publications, 2011, iv, 164 p, ISBN : 8188730810, $30.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Minority Voices : The Indian English Novels of the 90s

Contents: Foreword. 1. Introduction. 2. Minority and Midnight’s Children. 3. Parsi Journey. 4. Trotting Anglos Saunter Here. 5. Through the Walled City. 6. Conclusion.

“Minority Voices and India English Novels of the 90s glosses over the march of the Indian English Novel halting at the nineties, especially, to watch for a voice emerging from a margin. The voice belongs to that of the minorities. A rich corpus of literature was churned out during this era, distinctly sounding innovations shrugging off the colonial burden. One such novelty is the hectic activity in novel writing. Many expatriate and native writes thronged the publishing houses. The flag bearer novel The Midnight’s Children put India on the world map of fictional activities with its wins of the Booker and the Booker for its author Salman Rushdie.

Coincidentally, the novel speaks, among many other things, of the minority of Muslims. The other authors include Rohinton Mistry, Farukh Dhondy, Boman Desai, Bapsi Sidhwa (of Pakistan) among others belonging to Parsi community. The minority communities like those of Christians (Anglo-Indians) and Jews too, found their bards during these period. This book deals with four representative novels belonging to minority authors i.e. Salman Rushdie (Midnight’s Children), Rohinton Mistry (Such a Long Journey), Allan Sealy (The Trotter-Nama) and Esther David (The Walled City) and attempts to hear the voices of aspirations, anxiety, frustration, hopes and wishes of the minority communities passing through a kind of identity crisis and threats posed by multi-cultural society as perceived by them. The minority communities that emerge, from the novels Midnight’s Children, Such a Long Journey, The Trotter-Nama and The Walled city are, however, quintessentially unique and bear relevance to their faiths. Of course, the creative concerns of the respective writers talk of polarization, fear, suspicion and reduced interaction among themselves and others, they do not advocate any such feeling. And even while entertaining readers: these writers aim at respecting multiplicity and plurality of this country, India. In rendering the communities articulate in their works these writers have taken fiction close to the fact. Their authentic vision makes the whole phenomenon convincing, and the minority communities truly emerge as the protagonist of all these novels which consequently leads one to conclude that there does exist “Minority Aesthetics:, the coinage which may soon get recognition in the canons of, at least, Indian English Literature.”(jacket)

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