About the BookDuring the post-Independence period Indian masculinity has undergone a major transformation. But this new psychological and social phenomenon has not been adequately analysed or intellectually accounted for. Postcolonial Indian discourses tend to bypass masculinity in spite of its enormous importance. Literary criticism too has been no exception. Informed studies of Indian masculinity within the field of literature have been near totally absent despite masculinity occupying the centre stage in a large number of fictional works. This book makes an honest attempt to fill the lacuna to an extent by studying, from multiple perspectives, the depiction of Indian masculinity in Indian fiction in English of the postcolonial period.
Most of the novels studied in this volume faithfully reflect the new social mores, everyday ideology and popular psychology of the urban Indian middleclass and boldly address the unconventional issue of masculinity and its changing contours.
The writers considered here include G.V. Desani, Shashi Deshpande, Vikram Chandra, Amitav Ghosh, Kiran Nagarkar, Shobha Dé, Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai and Mulk Raj Anand and some of the themes that have been explored are: queer autofiction, marriage, sexual violence, gender-power hierarchy, discontents of masculinity, sexual politics, masculinity vs. femininity, inferiority and cultural determinism. It is hoped that this book will significantly contribute to the discussion in India of masculinity as an academic subject and in the process prove useful to literary scholars as well as social scientists.About the Author/sRajeshwar Mittapalli is Professor of English in Kakatiya University, Andhra Pradesh. His published works of criticism include The Novels of Wole Soyinka, and Indian Women Novelists and Psychoanalysis. He edited the New Delhi based quarterly the Atlantic Literary Review for six years, apart from co-editing with European and Indian scholars 23 anthologies of critical essays on a variety of literary subjects. These volumes include Commonwealth Fiction: Twenty-first Century Readings, Indian Women’s Short Fiction, Salman Rushdie: New Critical Insights (2 vols), and V.S. Naipaul: Fiction and Travel Writing. His 50 articles, published in India, USA, Spain, Hong Kong, South Africa, Germany and elsewhere in the world, have been frequently anthologized. He has also contributed many entries to encyclopedias and published travelogues in international and online journals.
Letizia Alterno is associated with the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Manchester, UK, as a researcher and learning facilitator. She is the author of the acclaimed book Raja Rao: An Introduction. She had been the director of Raja Rao’s official website (www.rajarao.com) for a number of years. She currently maintains a website on
Raja Rao (http://rajarao.free.fr) which includes an online bibliography on Rao for the benefit of scholars and students around the world. Her contribution to the Raja Rao scholarship also includes the translation of The Cat and Shakespeare into Italian.