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Subjected Subcontinent

Sectarian and Sexual Lines in Indian Writing in English


Eiko Ohira

This book offers a new, complex understanding of Indian writing in English by focusing its analysis on both Indo-Pakistani Partition fiction and novels written by women. The author gives a comprehensive outline of Partition novels in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh written in English as well as an overview of the challenges of studying Partition literature, particularly English translations of Partition novels in regional languages. Featured works include Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Bapsi Sidhwa’s Ice-Candy-Man, Amitav Ghosh’s Shadow Lines, Meena Arora Nayak’s About Daddy, and Sujata Sabnis’s A Twist in Destiny. The book then moves on to a study of novels by women writers such as Githa Hariharan, Kiran Desai, Anita Desai, and Arundhati Roy, exploring their perspectives on sexuality, the body, and the diaspora.
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Chapter 4: Partition Novels before Midnight’s Children: An Overview


← 30 | 31 →CHAPTER 4

Partition Novels before Midnight’s Children: An Overview

Traumatic Memories

Traumatic memories of the Indo-Pakistani Partition resurface whenever terrorist attacks occur in India. The creation of the new nation state clearly sowed seeds of discord and conflict. Hence Partition writings tend be haunted. In the Introduction of The Partition of Memory: The Afterlife of the Division of India (2001), Suvir Kaul states:

The destructive legacies and nightmarish memories of Partition – its afterlife – still guide our public policy and inhibit our “progress” from colonial state to post colonial democracies … we remember by refusing to remember. (2)

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