Collection on the Global Reception of Post-Liberalization Indian Literature in English

full name / name of organization: 
Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan

Book title: Global Reception of Post-liberalization Indian Novels in English

Nature of the book: This is an edited volume, where experts in contemporary Indian writing in English will contribute original papers of academic interest. The book will be published by established publishers, peer-reviewed by academicians of international repute.


A brief description: Indian Novels in English have generated considerable amount of interest at home and from English-speaking countries, particularly during the post-liberalization period. The watershed year for post-liberalization was 1991, when economic reforms changed the urban Indian landscape. Removal of age-old trade and fiscal restrictions spurred on the economy in the metro cities, leading to unparalleled consumption of global goods and exposure to international media.


This was also the time when Indian writers of English (including the writers of Indian origin) caught the attention of the western world like never before. The arrival of global publishing houses in a big way played a significant role in making these novelists more visible and accessible. Although the idea is not to undermine the value of these novels, yet it is worthwhile to consider the role of certain kind of themes and the workings of the organized, global market processes.


The essays in this volume posit:


i. What are those cultural and critical frameworks that define literary reception?

ii. Has there been a marked shift in the reception of Indian novelists in English post-liberalization as compared to the earlier novelists?

iii. What about the attitude of the award-giving bodies? Does a freer economy c/overtly determine these awards?

iv. Do marketing strategies by the big publishing companies play a significant role in making the works of some authors more visible (e.g., bidding war between publishers, much-publicized advances/royalty extended to novelists, etc.)?

v. To what extent are the works of these writers driven by the dictates of the market?

vi. Do our commercially/economically driven media influence critical/commercial perceptions?

vii. Are there certain thematic concerns and representations which are deemed 'prize and attention worthy' and do these factors influence the critical/commercial reception of the novels? (e.g., overdose of sex, spirituality, exotica, etc)


The book seeks to find answers to all these questions.


Aim: The aim is to document those Indian novelists and their works in English from post-liberalised India, who have received acclaim at critical and university levels, for example, they receive positive reviews in eminent newspapers and magazines, interviewed by high-profile talk-show hosts on television; their works are adapted for films, prescribed in the university syllabus; they are invited as professors/writers-in-residence, and are on distinguished committees, including the literary prize-giving ones.


Scope: Contemporary Indian novelists in English have displayed concerns with diverse issues of nationalism, diaspora, identity, communalism, subaltern representation, modernism and the impact of globalization. Some of the writers have dealt with the lives of women, sexual biases and preferences, and the sociopolitical conditions in India. Our interest is particularly in such writers writing in the English language, whose concerns are related to India in her immediacy, and who came into literary prominence in post-liberalized India.


The book is designed as a critical handbook to be used by academicians and scholars as well as anyone interested in contemporary Indian novels in English. The purpose is to provide a systematic approach to the study of Indian novelists who have not been (with certain exceptions) extensively worked on.



Essays must focus on:


  • A brief biography of the life & works of the author,

  • A detailed analysis of the author's major work,

  • Analysis of the perceptual shifts on the receivers, as a consequence of liberalization,

  • This shift will be measured in terms of receiving major literary awards, commercial success, critical reception (reviews, media-attention, etc.) as well as reception at the university level in English-speaking countries.


*Interviews with novelists, relevant to the scope of this book, are also welcome.



Possible writers to work on:

  • Abha Dawesar
  • Anita Nair
  • Amit Chaudhuri (taken)
  • Amitav Ghosh (taken)
  • Arvind Adiga (taken)
  • Anurag Mathur (taken)
  • Arundhati Roy (taken)
  • Ashok Banker
  • Ashok Mathur
  • Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (taken)
  • David Davidar
  • Gita Hariharan
  • Geeta Mehta
  • Hari Kunzru
  • I.Allan Sealy
  • Jhumpa Lahiri (taken)
  • Kaavya Viswanathan
  • Kiran Nagarkar
  • Kiran Desai
  • Kunal Basu
  • Chetan Bhagat (taken)
  • Manju Kapoor
  • Manil Suri
  • Mukul Kesawan
  • M.G. Vassanji (taken)
  • Namita Gokhale
  • Neel Mukherjee
  • Pankaj Mishra
  • Rohinton Mistry (taken)
  • Rukun Advani
  • Samit Basu
  • Shashi Deshpande (taken)
  • Shashi Tharoor
  • Siddhath Dhanvant Shanghvi
  • Suketu Mehta
  • Shobha Narayan
  • Tabish Khair
  • Tarun Tejpal
  • Upamanyu Chatterjee
  • Vikas Swarup (taken)
  • Vikram Chandra (taken)
  • Vikram Seth (taken)



Length: 3000-5000 words, including notes, prepared in accordance with MLA style.



Abstract deadline: Abstract of 8-10 lines as well as a biographical note of 50 words by December 5, 2009


Full paper deadline: April 25, 2010




Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Humanities & Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

Chennai- 600036

Tamil nadu



Phone :


Cell :00-91-44-9444766000

Office : 0091-44-22574521






About Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan


Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan did her MA, MPhil (Literature) and PhD on the works of Arthur Miller. She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching English and MPhil (English Language Teaching) from Central Institute of English & Foreign Languages, Hyderabad, India. She did her post-doctoral studies on Canadian cinema from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. She won the Ray Tongue Scholarship (UK) in 2005 and Canadian Faculty Enrichment Fellowship (2009).


She has over thirty publications in Indian and international journals. Her books include: Arthur Miller: The Dramatist & His Universe and It Happens Like This: a novella published by Writers Workshop, Kolkata. Her forthcoming book is City in Contemporary Indian Cinema to be published by Edwin Mellen Press, USA. She recently organized Chennai International Screenwriting Workshop, in association with actor Kamal Haasan, at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.


Her teaching and writing interests are Film Studies, Popular Culture, Drama and Contemporary Novels. She works as Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India.