CHAPTER – 1
INDIAN ENGLISH FICTION - ORIGIN AND GROWTH
Indian Writing in English has contributed in the field of both English fiction and poetry. In the recent years, Indian fiction writers have been widely recognized by the West. Writers like Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Shashi Tharoor, Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai, Jhumpa Laheri have either won the prestigious literary Prizes or they have been short listed for it. Most of them have been praised for their creative English.
Indian Writing in English has come quite a long way from the mere use of English language to the authentic tool for expressing one’s ideas, thoughts, concepts and imagination. It has attained maturity, but it is not that it suddenly emerged from nowhere. It has had its phases of development.
Indian writers in English have made the most significant contribution to the field of the novel. Ever since the publication of Bankimchandra Chatterjee’s Rajmohan’s Wife in 1864, Indian novel has grown considerably in bulk, variety and maturity. What began as a small plant has now attained a luxuriant growth and branched off in various directions.. The development of Indian novel follows certain definite patterns, and it is not difficult to trace its gradual progression from the imitative stage to the realistic to psychological to the experimental stage.
In the thirties the “Big Three” of Indian Writing in English arrived on the scene, and they were the founders of true Indo-English novel, though almost all the time they inevitably portrayed the village life and the concomitant effect of freedom movement. They could not keep themselves away from the Gandhian philosophy, which consciously or unconsciously entered their creative writing. But it is in this phase that we come across excellent novels for the first time, as is evident from Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable (1935), R.K. Narayan’s Swami and Friends (1935) and Raja Rao’s Kanthapura (1938).
It was R.K. Narayan...