Anglo-Indians are the human legacy of European colonialism. These descendants of European men and Indian women regularly appear as disconsolate and degenerate figures in colonial and postcolonial literature, much to the chagrin of contemporary Anglo-Indians. Many significant writers, such as Rudyard Kipling, Maud Diver, John Masters, Salman Rushdie and Hari Kunzru, have created Anglo-Indian characters to represent the complex racial, social and political currents of India’s colonial past and postcolonial present.
This book is the first detailed study of Anglo-Indians in literature. Rather than simply dismissing the representation of Anglo-Indians in literary texts as offensive stereotypes, the book identifies the conditions for the emergence of these stereotypes through close readings of key novels, such as
Bhowani Junction, Midnight’s Children and
The Impressionist. It also examines the work of contemporary Anglo-Indian writers such as Allan Sealy and Christopher Cyrill.
Presenting a persuasive argument against ‘image criticism’, the book underscores the importance of contextualizing literary texts, and makes a timely contribution to debates about ‘mixed race’ identities, minoritarian literature and interculturalism.
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2006. 265 pp.
Contents: Seven Deadly Stereotypes – Dangerous ‘Others’ and Colonial Governmentality – Beyond the Pale: Imperial Power and
Scientific Regimes of Truth – Social Science and the Production of Anglo-Indian Identity – Midnight’s Orphans: Stereotypes
in Postcolonial Literature – ‘The Good Australians’: Australian Multiculturalism and Anglo-Indian Literature – Conclusion:
Bringing it all Back Home.