About the BookThe Shadow Lines is a highly innovative, complex and celebrated novel of Amitav Ghosh. Published in 1988, it received the prestigious Sahitya Academy Award in the following year. Not only literary critics but also some noted litterateurs have acclaimed it for what it has been able to achieve as a work of art. Its focus is a fact of history, the post-partition scenario of violence; but its overall form is a subtle interweaving of fact, fiction and reminiscence.
It is a novel in which Amitav Ghosh has been able to realise his artistic conception through an art form, which is cohesive. However, it remains somewhat inaccessible to some readers; they are, particularly, mystified by its non-linear mode. This volume of critical essays on The Shadow Lines is being presented in the hope that it will enable the reader to gain an insight into the meaning and structure of the novel. In the first part of the book, the contributors bring out the various aspects/elements of the novel. The second part has essays, which look at the novel from some current critical perspectives — feminist, post-colonial and historicist — but the emphasis of these essays is upon practice and not theory. The idea is that the reader learns about a specific approach by seeing it applied to the The Shadow Lines. The third part has a single but significant essay ‘The Shadow Lines in Context’ which relates the novel to Ghosh’s other works, both fiction and non-fiction. Though the book is primarily addressed to the student, it is hoped that it will interest the common discernible reader as well.About the Author/sArvind Chowdhary, the editor of this volume, holds a Ph.D. on ‘Susanne K. Langer’s Aesthetics of Poetry’ from Delhi University. He is Reader in the Department of English of Ram Lal Anand College (Evening), University of Delhi. His research interests include aesthetics of poetry and fiction. His talks feature regularly on the National Channel of All India Radio. Dr. Chowdhary also writes poetry.