Reading India Now

Contemporary Formations in Literature and Popular Culture

Ulka Anjaria
Book Cover

HC: $69.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1663-6
Publication: Apr 19

Ebook: $69.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1665-0
Publication: Apr 19

282 pages
6 x 9
1 figs., 3 halftones

What literary criticism looks like when it becomes attuned to the unspectacular present

Read an excerpt from the Introduction( pdf).

Description

In an age of social media and reality television, reading and consumption habits in India now demand homegrown pulp fictions. Ulka Anjaria categorizes post-2000 Indian literature and popular culture as constituting “the contemporary,” a movement defined by new and experimental forms—where high- and low-brow meet, and genres break down.

Reading India Now studies the implications of this developing trend as both the right-wing resurges and marginalized voices find expression. Anjaria explores the fiction of Chetan Bhagat and Anuja Chauhan as well as Aamir Khan’s television talk show, Satyamev Jayate, plus the work of documentarian Paromita Vohra, to argue how different kinds of texts are involved in imagining new political futures for an India in transition. Contemporary literature and popular culture in India might seem artless and capitalistic, but it is precisely its openness to the world outside that allows these new works to offer significant insight into the experiences and sensibilities of contemporary India.

Reviews

Reading India Now is a very compelling and persuasive book that offers illuminating analyses, sharp insights, and new perspectives about how contemporary Indian literature and culture demand that we reinvent the very language and lens through which we approach not just Indian literature, but all literature and culture that is contemporary. Anjaria’s book is a well-researched and wide-ranging work that intervenes in the fields of Postcolonial Literatures, Global Anglophone Literatures, and South Asian Literatures and Cultures in extremely interesting and important ways.
Kavita Daiya, Director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Associate Professor of English at George Washington University, and author of Violent Belongings: Partition, Gender, and National Culture in Postcolonial India (Temple)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

Introduction: In Search of an Indian Contemporary

Part I Locations
1. The New Provincialism
2. Writing the City Now

Part II Publics
3. In Pursuit of the Common Man
4. Melodrama and the Open Edge of Politics

Part III Representations
5. Literature beyond the Pale
6. Inside and Out

Afterword: Contemporaneity’s Futures

Notes
References
Index

About the Author(s)

Ulka Anjaria is an Associate Professor of English at Brandeis University. She is the author of Realism in the Twentieth-Century Indian Novel: Colonial Difference and Literary Form and editor of A History of the Indian Novel in English.


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