Art is the expression of the highest imaginative and emotional susceptibility of man. Literature is one amongst the fine arts which employs language as a medium of expression. It is an essentially associate degree expression of human feelings , emotions, sorrows and joys. Sensible literature is rarely outdated and identified no bounds of place and time. It is permanent and also universal. The novel is a modern genre of art and in literature Novel or Fiction is considered the foremost powerful genre of literary expression and it is agreed that the novel is the best suited literary genre for the exploration of experiences and ideas within the context of our time. As Dawan says,
"â€¦.novel occupies a great significance in the world literature ." (Dhawan, R. K. (Ed). The Fictional World of Arun Joshi. New Delhi: Classical Publishing Company, 1986. p.5)
English language became a vehicle to impart Western ideas in India with the initiation of Charles Grant who was one of the directors of East India Company with the active support of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Lord Macaulay. On 2nd February 1835 Lord Macaulay prepared a historical 'Minute' for adoption of English language as a medium of instruction in schools and college. It was strongly supported by the intelligentia and they thought that English language would open new avenues of thought and culture, art and literature, science and technology. C.Paul Verghese rightly emphasizes "A study of the problems of the Indian writer in English is intimately bound up with the historicity of the development of English as the official language during British rule and as an important common medium of expression among the cultured Indians of the time, and occasionally also, as the vehicle of creative expression for a few Indian writers." (C. Paul Verghese, Problems of The Indian Creative Writer in English: Somaiya Pub. Ltd., Bombay, 1970, p.1.)
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The beginning of English education and knowledge of English literature through the medium of English language offered a recent positive stimulus growth and expansion of English in India. Throughout the globe the Indian contribution has been acclaimed within the realm of world literature. An avant-garde setup the contribution of India has been essentially through the Indian English literature and novelists are the forerunners this respect. A sizeable range of novelists on the literary horizon, have vented their creative urge in no other language than English and attained trustfulness to establish Indian English fiction as a main force within the world fiction.
Jon Mee asserts confidently " The English language has a privileged place in Indian culture. It is the language of the former colonizer and remains an elite language, the language of getting on, the language of business, the language identified, above all, with modernity "
(Mee, Jon. "After Midnight : The Indian Novel in English of the 80s and 90s". Rethinking Indian English Literature. (eds.) U.M. Nanavati and Prafulla C. Kar. Delhi : Pen craft international, 2000.)
The term IndoAnglian or IndoAnglian writings in English or Indian English literature was coined to distinguish from another kind of Indian writing, which deals with Indian themes , settings and purpose written by Indians.
" The advantage with Indo - Anglian is that it can be used both adjectivally and substantive , but Indo Englishman would be unthinkable. 'Indo - Anglian' is reasonably handy and descriptive and serves our purpose well enough." ( Iyangar, K.R.S., Indian Writings in English : Asia Publishing House, Bombay,1973, p.4)
As in Europe the novel in the Indian context in the spirit of individuality and human dignity was responsible for the rise and growth of the novel. Humayun Kabir rightly comments : " The new middle classes stress individuality and human dignity. It is natural that their major literary form, the novel should deal with ordinary men as opposed to the princes and princelings who were heroes of earlier tales. Because the novel deals with ordinary men, a novelist must possess the power of acute observation which enables him to distinguish one individual from another " ( Humayun Kabir - The Bengali Novel , Firma, K.L. Mukhopadhyay, Calcutta, 1968, p.4)
India was a legend in English language long before the nation was forcibly brought under British Colonial rule. In the year 1883 a book entitled "Indo Anglian Literature" was published in Calcutta and the term Indo Aglian was used it. K.R. Srinivasa Iyangar adopted it as the title to his book "Indo Anglian Literature."
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" This has come to be known as the Indo - Aglican writing and has been quite an active school of didactic and creative art for at least a century." (Mehta. PP. Indo-Anglian Ficton: An Assessment. Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, p.1)
Generally it is assumed that in literature the novel or prose fiction is considered the most powerful expression and also a most appropriate literary form for exploration of experiences and ideas. Indian literature which plays a significant and salutary role in recent times to the growth and grace of global literature is a most notable gift of Britishers to India. Indian English writers paid their attention towards the fiction writing, since fiction has come to be seen as the main stay of Indian English literature.
India is known for its diversified languages, cultures, traditions, races and practices, Indian fiction is an expression of its individuals , their cultures , their traditions , their mores and ways of life .
" â€¦.one of the most notable gifts to English education to India is prose fiction for though India was probably a fountain head of story - telling , the novel as we know to day was importation from west. " ( Naik, M.K., Dimensions of Indian Literature : Sterling Publishers, New Delhi,1985, p. 99 )
The study of the origin, growth and maturity of the Indo-Anglian novel is, in fact, more than a purely literary exercise. Broadly speaking, the historicity of Indo-Anglian literature and its spectrum is in episodic manner; from poetry to prose and from romantic idealization to various kinds of realism and symbolism. Therefore, the growth of the Indian-English novel is inextricable. integrated with the milieu, moment, orientalism and colonialism. The impact of the 'Renaissance in the 19th century Indian society is overwhelming in propagating the scientific temper and taste through the English language.
The earliest specimen of Indian English fiction was tales rather than novels, and their use of fantasy on a limited scale shows their link with the ancient Indian tradition, though the subject matter is contemporary.
K. S. Ramamurti maintains that the early Indian English novelists "were by no mean 'imitators but conscious experimenters who adopted an alien form and medium to socio-cultural situation and sensibility which were specifically Indian". ( Ramamurti,K.S., "Does the Indian Novel in English Have a Future" (ygnus 11:1), 1980. p.10 )
The novel which is developed as a distinguished literary genre in Indian literature was first published in the Presidency of Bengal later a number of novels were published in the Presidencies of Madras and Bombay besides Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Bengali and English. Majority of novels which are published from Eighteen sixties to the end of nineteenth century were from the Presidencies of Bengal, Madras and Bombay and these novels were about social and historical issues.
"It is the Renaissance in Bengal which made the "milue" and 'moment' conductive for Indian English novel. In the creation of this critical sensibility among the 19th century Indians Ram Mohun Roy played a significant role. He created an environment for cultural and intellectual upheaval in which English became the medium of the new sensibility." (Dr. Gajendra Kumar., Indian English Novel : Text and Context, Sarup & Sons, New Delhi,2002, p.3)
In narrative most of the Indo Anglian novelist depict the situation on spatial and temporal axes. It which generally utilizes the devices of realistic mode and lets the novelist to give his breath, heart, anguish and happiness. This narrative technique has become a device to the Indo Anglian novelist to create real people. May be the Indian novelists are not admiring to new techniques in plot, technique or characterization. But it cannot be denied that the novels written in English by Indian writers are rich and varied enough development. During the period of Nationalist agitation the subject matter of fiction was inescapably political. But after independence there is a clear shift in focus. Human relationships, social issues, power relations, gender equations and a lot more have become the major concerns of the novelists. Now the travails of the freedom struggle, the communal divide and the miseries of the downtrodden have given place to issues like meaninglessness of existence, alienation and psychological issues.
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The beginning of novel writing either written in English or in other Indian languages starts in the late 19th century. Alarer Charer Dulal (The Spoilt Child) a Bengali novel is considered the first novel written in India which appeared in 1858.
Paul Verghese aptly remarks: "Perhaps it was because in Bengali he could be the pioneer of new form of art by creating his own standards or importing them from the English novels he had read, especially the novels of Scott whose influence is evident in his historical novels."( Paul Verghese, p.16 )
The real beginning in the field of fiction was created by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (1838-94) with Rajmohan's wife (1864) written in English. This was shortly followed by Durgeshnandini, Kapalkundala, Vishavriksha, Krishnakantar Uyil, Anandmath, and Devi Chooudhurani, which were written in Bengali later translated into English. A good number of novels appeared between 1930 and 1965 reveal the influence of the western tradition of the long prose narrative. That was the last decade when the 'Big three' of Indian English literature Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao and R.K. Narayan published their first novels. There has been a gradual output of Indian English fiction since then. Tulsi Ram rightly evaluates Ram Mohun Ray's choice of English as a powerful liberating force : " Ram Mohun Ray believed that English alone was the language of literature and education for a new India. It would bring with it a new sensibility, a new intellectual discipline and a fresh spirit of adventure. " ( Tulsi Ram - Trading in Language G.D.K. Pub., Delhi, 1983, pp. 48-49)
Indian fiction in English typically begins with Mulk Raj Anand, though before him, there is a bulk of novelists notably in Bengal who tried their pen to compose some admirable fictions. M.R. Anand has to his a bulk of artistic novels which arête attention. The chief among them are The Untouchable (1935), Asiatic (1936 , Two Leaves and a Bud (1937), The Village (1939), Across the Black Waters (1940), Personal life of Associate in Nursing Indian Blue blood (1953) and Morning Face (1968). One of the important features of his novels is the truthful portrayal of the Indian society, a society which is sandwiched between and fractured by so many evils and corruptions like, superstitions and untouchability, political upheavals and ethnic disturbances; merciless persecution of women in a male dominated society. P.P. Mehta has remarkably pointed out: " Bankim's romanticism, Tagore's humanizing breath, Prem Chand's sympathy for the suffering people and Sharat Chandra's understanding of the human hearts influenced the artistic make up of Mulk Raj Anand." ( P.P..Mehta, Indo-Anglian Fiction: An Assessment , Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 1979, p.149)
The works of R.K. Narayan are totally different from those of Mulk Raj Anand.The former is a champion of the reason behind the vulnerable and therefore the marginalized whereas the latter is not pre-occupied with any principle or notion as such. R.K. Narayan is a sort of detached observer snaps a small group of men and their oddities: explores the inner thoughts and ambitions of the characters, creates an imagined place like Malgudi that the Caster bridge of the novelist. In other words, R.K. Narayan powerfully believes in the aesthetic or inventive pattern of art rather than its suggestive and ethical attractiveness. Before independence Narayan produced Swami and Friends (1935), TheBachelor of Arts (1937), The Dark Room (1938) , The English Teacher (1946), The Financial Expert (1952), The Guide (1958), Man Eater of Malgudi (1962), Waiting for Mahatma (1955), The Vendor of Sweets (1967), The Painter of Signs (1976), A Tiger for Malgudi (1983), Talkative Man (1983), The World of Nagraj (1990) and Grandmother's Tale (1992). H.H.Gowda views him as a "genial story-teller without much purpose, which voices a common objection. He raises no fundamental values: the mystery of existence is outside his scope" ( H. H. Anniah Gowda: Contemporary Creative Writers in English, Literary Half Yearly, Mysore. Jan 1969, p.17-39 )
Raja Rao, a Sanskritist scholar, the youngest of the 'trio' is content to deal with the realistic and vivid portrayal of the villages of India during the Gandhian Age. He shows in his novels the spiritualism and mysticism of the age-long heritage of India, its rites and custom, decorum and decency. The tradition of social realism and new consciousness was further continuing by Bhabani Bhattacharya, Manohar Malgonkar and Kushwant Singh. His famous novels are Kanthapura (1938), The Serpent and the Rope (1960), The Cat and Shakespeare (1965), Comrade Kirillov (1976) and The Chessmaster and HisMoves (1988). M.K.Naik remarks about the significant contribution of Raja Rao to Indian novel in English: "Raja Rao has also brought to the Indian novel in English many elements in which it had been previously deficient: an epic breadth of vision, a metaphysical rigour and philosophical depth, a symbolic richness, a lyrical fervour and an essential Indianness of style." ( Raja Rao. "Books which have Influenced Me," Aspects of Indian Writings in English, ed. M.K. Naik (Delhi: Macmillan Co. of India, 1979), p. 45.)
Khushwant Singh who has just written a handful of novels such as Train to Pakistan (1956) and I shall not Hear the Nightingale (1959) is one of India's distinguished men of letters with international reputation. His narrative is direct and unadorned.
Bhabhani Bhattacharya employs a wholly different narrative idiom and technique. While telling a single story he subdivides it into several subplots, complementing each other. Being less concerned with the fate of an individual character, novels such as So Many Hungers (1947) He who Rides a Tiger (1954) or Shadow from Ladakh (1963) present a kaleidoscopic picture of reality. K.R. Chandrashekharan rightly maintains "Bhattacharya is not an iconoclast who wants to demolish everything old in order to find room for something new. There is a core of conservatism in his thinking which is proved by the respect he shows for many of our traditional values. Regarding the place of woman in society and in the home. his attitude is not one of radical feminism." (Chandrashekharan,K.R, Bhabhani Bhattacharya, New Delhi,1978, p.48)
Manohar Malgonkar like Bhattacharya has a talent for lively narrative. In telling the stories of Distant Drum (1960), A Bend in Ganges (1964) and Combat of Shadows (1962) he displays an ability that compels recognition. He displays a sense of economy in detail and phrasing. He writes in a strikingly British Indian and admired narrative gusto, neat plots often with historical background.
In 1981 the publication of Rushdie's Midnight Children brought about a significant change in the way Indian English fiction came to be written. This work seemed to destroy both the sanctity of content and the stable form of the Indian English Novel. Midnight's Children is a post modernist deconstructionist account of recent Indian history. It is written with a rare verbal verve and employs an astonishing variety of linguistic and narrative traditions.This novel break taboos and inhibitions encouraging Indians to experiment with a new form and content of fiction.
Indian women, who have been showing their caliber in each and every discipline of knowledge are the embodiment of love and affection, hope and patience. Many Indian women novelists have explored female subjectivity in order to establish an identity that is not imposed by a patriarchal society. Indian women novelists in English and in other vernaculars try their best to deal with, apart from many other things, the pathetic plight of forsaken women who are dislike to suffer from birth to death.
Women novelists have also shown their extraordinary caliber and changeless imprint in the realm of Indian fiction in English. They have shown their nerve in each field and in some respects, much better than the male. Prior to the rise of the novel, several Indian women composed poetry and short stories in Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Tamil, South Dravidian and Kannada.
Technique wise the novels up to and in the 1970s are 'humanistic'. They question tradition but they also strike a compromise with it. However the 1970s was also the gestation period for the revolution in fictional technique and sensibility that was to occur in the 1980s. A number of Indian women novelists made their debut in the 1990s, producing novels which revealed the true state of Indian society and its treatment of women. These writers were born after Indian independence, and the English language does not have colonial associations for them. Their work is marked by an impressive feel for the language, and an authentic presentation of contemporary India, with all its regional variations. They generally write about the urban middle class, the stratum of society they know best.
The history of Indian women novelists in English begins with Toru Dutt who died at the early age of 21. Toru Dutt , one of the precious gems studded in the sparkling jewel adoring the poetic muse , cane numbered among the "deathless" in spite of her meager literary output in Indo - Anglian literature. Both her novels- Bianca, or the Young Spanish Maiden and Le Journal de Mademoiselle d'Arvers deal with the autobiographical projections of the novelist - the experience, sweet and sour, she gathered in her very short life. The agony and catharsis arising out of sisterly love and bereavement are very beautifully projected in these two novels. Though the characters are Spanish and French, yet the delineation is entirely Indian, full of love and affection, sincerity and purity, Which characterize the core of an ideal Indian woman.
During the six decades of post-colonial history of Indian English fiction, a wide variety of novelists have emerged focusing attention on a multitude of social, economic, political, religious and spiritual issues faced by three coinciding periods of human experience. The women novelists have been at the core of all literary writings of this phase and with it turn of the century the Indian English women novelists have surpassed their male counterparts outnumbering them quantitative as well as by maintaining a high standard of literary writing, they received equal applaud in India and abroad, experimenting boldly with not only technique but also by incorporating tabooed subject matters in the novels and short stories, as a result being that Indian women of all categories - rural or urban, rich or poor, aristocratic or bourgeois high caste or Dalit with an intensity and conceit never attempted earlier.
The second generation of Indian English women novelists have favourably responded to the changed psychological realities of Indian life specially after Independence. These writers like Kamala Markandaya, Anita Desai, Shashi Deshpandl Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Nergis Dalal, Shobha De, and Bharathi Mukherjee, are well equipped both emotionally and intellectually to treat the situation appropriately. Kamala Markandaya, Anita Desai, Shashi DeshWande, Shobha De and Bharati Mukherjee have written about women in a varied cultural perspective. Interestingly, they have probed the psyche of their creations and thereby have analysed their relationship with society at large. In some women writers there is the attitude of despondency, negation and rejection of life while in others there is an affirmation, an acceptance of life with a compromising attitude leading to a deep sense of fulfillment. Some women characters also adhere to the concept of feminism as propounded and propagated by the French theorists, but they have been dexterously placed in the post-modern scenario.
Cornelia Sorabji , a Parsi Christian, is the other great figure in the realm of novels. Who studied at Oxford and returned to India in 1894 to act as a pleader for women, opposed the work of both male and female nationalist reformers. Carnelia represented women under 'Sandas' ( special permission to plead) and later an official appointed the court of Wards to deal with the cases of Purdahnashin (Secluded Women ). She is mainly famous for her three important works-LoveÂ and Life behind the Purdah (1901), St in-Babies in the Child life of India (1904),Â andÂ Between the Twilight (1908).Â She reveals in her novels the various moods and vestures going in under the `purdah', the ecstasy, tragedy, comedy and many more things which are unnoticed even by a feminist philosopher.
The novelists have exploited their talent in sticking out convincingly the painful mind of the persecuted women. Their portrayal of women characters within the novels invariably bears legitimacy to their feminist approach, outlook and perspective. Their keen observation of the life of Indian women and their interest in the study of their inner mind are proven by their vivid and wide portrayal of their plight. The women novelists focus in their novels on the existential quandary and travails of the subdued women in an exceedingly male dominated society ruled by rigid traditions and restrictions. These writers being women dive deep into the inner mind of the pent-up women by virtue of their female sensibility and psychological insight and bring to light their problems, that are the outcome of Indian women's psychological and emotional imbalances.
Kamala Markandaya is one of the most outstanding Indian women novelist writing in English. She started writing novels when India has just at the threshold of newly won freedom. Poverty, hunger and starvation were everywhere due to communal disturbances. In the openion of Markandaya : "The role of observer which every traveller assumes is a good training for any writer-It makes-a good starting point, and I believe, it was my starting point." (Quoted by Elena J. Kalinnikova, India - English Literature - A Perspective , Vimal Prakshan, Ghaziabad,1984,p.149)
She is gifted with extraordinary vision of life and uses fiction as a vehicle for communication of her vision life. She depicts in her novels, race conflicts, temperamental disparities cultural conflicts and sexual perversion as factors working in the form of barriers of communication. There is no exaggeration in presenting the sufferings of the people. Markandaya won international fame and recognition with the publication of her very first novel, Nectar in a Sieve in 1954. She has to-date ten novels to her credit: Nectar in a Sieve(1954), Some Inner Fury (1956), A Silence of Desire (1960), Possession (l 963), A Handful of Rice (l 966), The Coffer Dams (1969), The Nowhere Man (1972), Two Virgins (1973), The Golden Honeycomb(1977) and Pleasure City(1982).
S.Krishnaswamy observes: " She , however, is not a theorist to dwell upon cast and class problems only. Her concerns being predominantly socio -economic, her novels offer us a savage tale of brutality, ignorance mental and physical bludgeoning that the ordinary Indian , man and woman, is subject to " (Krishnaswamy.S, " Kamala Markandaya : Antomy,Naturance and the Sisterhood of man ", The Women in Indian Fiction in English , New Delhi, Ashish publishing House, 1984, p.162)
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is a Polish - Jewish who escaped from Germany to England at the age of twelve, who nourished a deep rooted literary ambition which burgeoned when she gained an entry into Indian life as the wife of a Parsi architect C.S.H. Jhabvala. The novels of R. P. Jhabvala ring the note of two things urban middle class Indian life tinged with domestic problems of an average joint Hindu family and an ironic studies of the confrontation between occidental and oriental attitudes. Her early novels To Whom She Will (1955) and The Nature of Passion (1956) are comedies of urban middle-class life.
Frye comments that " In all good new comedy there is social as well as individual theme which must be sought in general atmosphere of reconciliation that makes the final marriage possible " ( Northrop Frye , The Argument of Comedy , Comedy (Ed), Marium Felheiem, New York , 1962,p.237). Her other novels include The Householder (1960), Get Ready for Battle (1962), A New Dominion (1973), Heat and Dust (1975), In Search of Love and Beauty (1983), The Continents (1987), Poet and Dancer (1993) and Shards of Memory (1995).
Shyam M. Asnani views that , " R. P. Jhabvala writes about the furious social scuffing in the present day India. All her novels are full of local colour and clamour, dealing with the young who are inert, romantic and non-too-wise, and the old who are cool, calculating and rigid. She describes the head-on collision between the traditional and the modern, the east and the west. and the confusion that follows in the wake of these collisions." (Shyam M. Asnani: Critical Response to Indian English Fictions, Mittal Pub. Delhi, 1985. p.80.)
Anita Desai, who adds a new dimension to the achievement of the Indian women novelists in English. Her psychological novels, presents the image of a suffering woman preoccupied with her inner world, her sulking frustration and the storm within the existential predicament of a woman in a male dominated society. Who have tried to portray the tragedy of human souls trapped in the circumstances of life. Through such characters, she makes a plea for a better way of life for women. Her later novels, written since she moved to the USA, reveal all the characteristics of diasporic fiction, that is, a concern with the fate of immigrants, and a growing distance from the reality of India, which is viewed from the outside.
Few of her novels are Cry, The PeacockÂ (1963), Voices in the CityÂ (1965), Bye-bye BlackbirdÂ (1971), The Peacock GardenÂ (1974) , Where Shall We Go This Summer?Â (1975), Cat on a HouseboatÂ (1976) , Fire on the MountainÂ (1977), Games at TwilightÂ (1978), Clear Light of DayÂ (1980) , The Village By The SeaÂ (1982), BombayÂ (1988), In CustodyÂ (1984) , Baumgartner's Journey to IthacaÂ (1995), Fasting, FeastingÂ (1999).
Shantha Krishnaswamy has rightly pointed out, " Anita Desai's novels constitute together the documentation, through fiction, of radical female resistance against a patriarchally defined concept of normality. She finds the links between female duality, myth and psychosis intriguing; each heroine is seen as searching for, finding and absorbing or annihilating the double who represents the socially impermissible aspects of her faminity." (ï»¿Shantha Krishnaswamy ,The Women in Indian Fiction in English , Ashish Publishing House, New Delhi,1984, p. 237.)
Shashi Deshpande (born 1938) created a place for herself in the galaxy of Indian women novelist in English and emerged on the Indian fictional scene in 1970s. Deshpande began writing late and moved to fiction after an apprenticeship in journalism and short story writing. Besides five collections of short stories The Legacy (1971), It Was Dark and It Was the Nightingale (1986), The Miracle, Intrusion and Other Stories (1993) and The Stone Women (2000), she has published eight novels, two of which are suspense novels. She has also written four novels for children. She knows the mood of India and has seriously tried to bring forth in her novels aspects of the changing Indian society.
She excels in projecting a realistic picture of the middle educated woman who, although financially independent, is still facing the problems of adjustment between the old and the new , between tradition and modernity , between idealism and pragmatism.
Shashi Deshpande is a graduate in Economics and Law, and a postgraduate in English Literature. She has also taken a course in journalism. Her literary career which began in 1970, spanning almost 28 years and encompassing her authorship of seven novels, four volumes of short stories besides a number of story books for children. Her first published novels. Roots and Shadows, has won the Thirumathi Rangamal Prize for the best Indian novel of 1982-83. That Long Silience published in Britain by Virago, has won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award and it has been translated in to the French and the Dutch languages. Another of her novels The Dark Holds No Terrors has also been translated into the German and the Russian languages. She knows the mood of India and has seriously tried to bring forth in her novels aspects of the changing Indian society. As Maria Mies observes, "Her problem arises firstly, from the contradictions between this image and the demand of a social situation and then from the discrepancy between new aspirations and lack of opportunity". (Mies , Maria : Indian Woman and Patriarchy Conflicts and Dilemmas of Students and Working Women, Concept Publications, New Delhi, 1980, p. 32.)
Shobha De is a modern novelist who is famous for portraying the sexual mania of the commercial world. In narration of incident she is very frank and straight forward. Like Anita Desai, she has the gift of exploring the subdued depths of women psychology. In 1988, she shot into literary limelight by writing her first novel, Socialite Evening which is Lawerencian in expression. Her other works are Starry Nights, Sisters, Sultry Days, Strange Obsessions, Snapshots, Second Thoughts, Shooting from the Hips, Small Betrayals, Surviving Men and Speed Post. She believes that a man's personality can be judged in a true perspective only when one goes into his interior more than his exterior behaviour. Today, one can see that sex which ,s the root of all our energy, plays a very vital role in a man's life. Perhaps this is why most of the novels of De analyze the various aspects of sex, a great urge of human being. And this in turn appeals to most of the readers of modern scientific and commercial world where a large section of people are wildly hungry for power, wealth and sex.
She one stated that she preferred not to be branded as a feminist. To quote her, " I write with a great deal of empathy towards women. Without raising a feminist flag, I feel very strongly about the woman's situation." ( The Hindustan Time Magazine , 12th February , 1995, p.3 )
Nayantara Sahgal, the niece of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and the daughter of Vijyalaxmi Pandit, is a novelist of politics. She is also known as a successful political columnist for different newspapers. Her writing is generally characterised by simplicity and boldness. Her writing is also famous for keeping in touch with the latest political ups and downs with a tinge of western liberalism. Her novels truthfully mirror the contemporary Indian political theme. Her attitude in the novels is tantamount to that of Nehru, that is, co-mingled with the western outlook. Unlike the other political writers, she never professes any specific political ideology or favouring any political creed or political movement. Her novels only portray the contemporary incidents and political realities saturated with artistic colour and objectivity. All her major characters of the novel arc centripetally drawn towards the vortex of politics. But besides politics, her fiction also focuses attention on Indian woman's search for sexual freedom and self realization.
Lakshmi Sinha puts this in a nut-shell, " Sahgal 's literary worldâ€¦.. in a broad sense can be termed "personalized fiction. " History, politics, autobiography and personalities intermingle in the novels of Sahgal." (Lakshmi Sinha, " Nayantara Sahgal's Sextet: From A Time to be Happy to Rich Like Us", Indian Women Novelists, ed. R.K. Dhawan, Prestige Books, New Delhi 1993, Set 11, vol. 4, p. 42.)
Arundhati Roy appeared like a large luminous star in the firmament of literature by her magnum opus The God of Small Things , a unique novel in both matter and manner. By her extraordinary linguistic inventiveness, she succeeded in receiving the prestigious Booker Prize for literature in 1997.
The biography of Arundhati Roy is an engrossing story. Suzanna Arundhati Roy was born on 24th November 1961 in Shillong, Meghalaya, in the north-eastern Indian state to a Syrian-Christian mother, the activist and teacher Mary Roy and a Bengali Hindu father a Tea plant manager Rajib. Roy's parents divorced when she and her brother Lalit Kumar Christopher Roy were still very young and Mary Roy returned to the small town of Ayemenem (or Aymanam) with the children to her family home, in the southern Indian state of Kerala. As her mother Mary Roy is a liberal activist broke the tradition by marrying a Bengali and then divorcing him. She also made history by fighting the provisions of the Christian Succession Act and in this connection, she even went to the Supreme Court. The favourable ruling allowed Christian women an equal share with their male siblings, in their father's property. ï»¿ Roy's association with her mother became increasingly complex and desperate to escape the stifling conventionality of Ayemenem. Roy was the product of a broken home. She had to face several cares and anxieties, fret and fever during her childhood.
She left when she was sixteen to attend the Lawrence boarding school at Lovedale in Tamil Nadu and the age of eighteen, she left for New Delhi for higher education. She joined the Delhi School of Planning and Architecture. She lead a utter penury life at Delhi and when she was in her second year of Architecture course her family members requested her not to return to Kerala due to some understandable reasons. It caused a great shock into her young, gentle mind. She met Gerard Da Cunha who was a fellow student in Architecture School and her first husband. After marriage Roy and Gerard took a room at Feroz Sah Kotla, which was tin-shaded. She had to make a living by flogging empty beer bottles.
In an interview, she gave a flash back to her past life: " I used to live in Candolim on the beach. My boy friend was Goan, he's a very well known architect now, Gerard. We both went to Goa, and we hired a little house on the beach. We used to bake cake and sell them. I did that for six to seven months, and then I got sick to the gills of tourists and these kinds of hippies who pretended they were all stoned flower children and were actually completely' Kanjoos' and money minded. After that I remember, a friend of mine had given me a gold ring some years ago and I went and sold it to a fruit juice wallah and got enough money to come back. So I left Gerard ï»¿and came back to Delhi. It was just about enough money to rent a barsati in West Nizamuddin, I never earned enough for the whole month-from the last week of the month I'd borrowed 100/- rupees from a friend and as soon as I got my pay I paid him back "( ï»¿First City: Delhi City Magazine, June 1997, p-24 )
The other period of her life that is very important is when she was still in the Delhi School of Architecture. As she was not given a room in the hostel, she requested the mess manager of the canteen and rented a shack with her husband in the refugee colony next to their school of Architecture. Though she obtained a Bachelor Degree in Architecture with meritorious marks she never practiced. In other words, from the age of about 17 to 25, she had absolutely no anchor. She had been even asked to leave home by her family. After getting the degree of Architecture, Arundhati worked as a Research Assistant at the National Institute of Urban Affairs. She devoted herself to it and she won a scholarship to Florence to study the Restoration of Monuments and Historical Urban Centers. She returned from Italy grimly determined to restore neither Monuments nor Historical Urban Centers.
She remembered: " The stewardess on the flight got talking to me. And when she found out that I had no money, no place to go to when I landed, she offered that I could come and share the crew's hotel room. "( Sunday: Magazine, 30 March- 5 April 1997, Calcutta P-41.)
ï»¿ There was a turning point in her life after she met Pradeep Krishen a film director, who saw her when she was riding a bicycle down the wrong side of the road. He offered her a tribal bimbo role in the movie Massey Saab which was screened in Venice Film Festival. It is Pradeep Krishen who identified a writer in Roy and encouraged her to write screen plays and later Roy married Pradeep Kishen. Her first professional writing assignment was about the life of Rhinoceros when she had a chance to escort a group of rhinos by road from Delhi to Dudhwa ( Uttar Pradesh) ï»¿and She wrote a commentary for a documentary film titled How the Rhinoceros Returned for Ashish Chandola.
Arundhati Roy is also a great screenplay writer. She writes the screenplay for The Bunyan Tree, a television serial. The serial consists of 26 episodes and very beautifully deals with a story set in Utter Pradesh in the years between 1921 and 1952. It shows the last tumultuous decades of the British Raj. But this famous T.V. Serial was abandoned half way through the shoot as the production company ran into financial trouble. The breaking of the serial in the middle was a very traumatic and painful thing for Roy
She recalls these days: "I didn't know what was going to happen whether I was going to finish it to my satisfaction or whether I would just go on and on. There were bad moments- when you are running out of money; you don't know what's going to happen in terms of your career writing is not something that you naturally associate with earning a living."( First City: Delhi City Magazine, June 1997, p-22.)
Bhaskar Chose , who was then Director General of Doordarshan instilled hope in Roy. He was very eager to commission something different from the national channel. He met Roy who told him that she wanted to write but that she didn't think anyone would finance her kind of screenplays. But to her great amazement. Bhaskar Ghose replied in positive and commissioned her to write a screenplay. Roy wrote a script based on her experiences of university in Delhi. She wrote in a sharp, satirical and critical manner. Moreover, it incorporated the fractured English of the student's community.
The title was In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones. Ghose appreciated the screenplay and even commissioned a film by Krishen, and Roshan Seth agreed to star in it. Though the budget of this screenplay was minuscule, it gave Krishen and Roy a chance to put their vision on the screen. But unfortunately 'Annie' got a warm critical response. Moreover, Ghose was transferred and the new regime at Doordarshan was horrified by the movie Electric Moon, then followed and though the movie has its fans, it was generally deemed an honourable artistic failure. Roy observes: "The movie I had in my head was different from the one we shot. I wanted it to have a more anarchic quality, but I did not know enough about cinema to make that come through on screen."(Sunday , 42)
After the success of The God of Small Things Roy wrote few non fictional works they are The Cost of Living (1999), Power Politics(2001), War Talk(2003), An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire: A Collection of Speeches and Essays(2004), Public Power in The Age of Empire(2004), The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile: Conversations with Arundhati Roy (2004), The End of Imagination(1998), The Holy Name of Liberty (2002), Come September(2002), Mesopotamia. Babylon. The Tigris and Euphrates (2003), War is Peace (2001), Insult and Injury in Afghanistan (2001), The Algebra of Infinite Justice (2001), Fascism's Firm Footprint in India (2002), Confronting Empire (2003), People vs. Empire (2005), Let us hope the Darkness has Passed (2004), Brutality smeared in Peanut Butter (2001), The Greater Common Good (2001), Seize the Time (2003), The New American Century(2004), Shall we leave it to the Experts? (2002), New World Disorder: War is peace. So now we know(2001), Do Turkeys Really Enjoy Thanksgiving? (2004).
A revolutionary book The End of Imaginations shows Roy's strong revolt against nuclearization in India and abroad and also her this books is Roy's mild satire on the arrogance and dominance of politics and above all the drawbacks of nuclear arms and ammunitions, which are gaining ground all over the globe. It opens with the apocalyptic vision of the nuclear explosion tested at the Pokhran site on 11th May 1998. It is a satire on the then government which celebrated the success of the nuclear test. Roy observes that " If there is a nuclear war, our foes till n't be China or, America or even each other. Our foe will be the earth herself. They very elements-the sky, the air, the land, the wind and water will all turn against us. Their wrath will be terrible. Our cities and forests, our fields and villages will turn for days. Rivers will turn to poison. The air will become fire. The wind will spread the flames. When everything there is to burn has burned and the fires die, smoke will rise and shut out the sun. The earth will be enveloped in darkness. There will be no day only interminable night. Temperatures will drop too far below freezing and nuclear winter will set in. Water will turn into toxic ice. Radioactive fall out will seep through the earth and contaminate groundwater. Most living things, animal and vegetable, fish and fowl, will die. Only rats and cockroaches will breed and multiply and compete with foraging, relict humans for what little food there is " (Arundhati Roy, The End of Imagination, D.C. Books , Kottayam, Kerala, 1998, pp.12-13)
The book shows that she is not favour of war and killing. She might be the faithful follower of Gandhi who believed in truth and non violence and further this books demonstrates her boldness as a free and frank writer. She strongly believes a writer should expose the corruption and aberrations of the society in he or she lives and must be the voice of a nation.
Roy's revolutionary article which is later released in the form of book entitled The Greater Common Good deals with authors rational and progressive attitude to the dam projects of the government. After her sympathetic talks with the sufferers of the Narmada Valley project , she made a harsh and rugged satire on the faulty decision and adverse attitude of the political parties and she strongly believes that big dams in India are obsolete, uncool and undemocratic.
She rightly points out that " 33 million. That's what it works out to. Thirty-threeÂ millionÂ people. Displaced by big damsÂ aloneÂ in the last fifty years What about those that have been displaced by the thousands of other Development Projects?" (Arundhati Roy, The Greater Common : Outlook , India , April 1999)