Indian Popular Fiction: REDEFINING THE CANON
This edited volume by two extremely committed academics is a very timely and desired intervention in debates surrounding Indian Popular Fiction, an area that hasn’t got adequate attention from academics. The anthology, covering a wide range of debates to do with readership, neo-liberalism, changing habitus of the popular, popular mythology, Indian reworkings of detective stories, popular genres and their articulation in Indian languages, among several others, raises very important questions and sets the right tone for debates and discussion for readers and academics alike, who wish to engage with Indian popular fiction. Thoroughly incisive and engaging. It makes for a delightful and informative read. -Simi Malhotra, Professor, Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
So good to see the writers who capture the imagination of young India and sell at railway station book-stands and red light crossigs finally getting their due! Popular writing portrays the zeitgeist of a nation and a time like no other format can – it records angst, ethos, changing mores and popular culture faithfully – but is often dismissed as mere ‘entertainment, entertainment and entertainment.’ The writers of this anthology delve deep into the glittering, bauble-filled treasure chest that is Indian Commercial fiction and come up with findings that are both insightful and informative. -Anuja Chauhan, Popular author, advertiser and screenwriter.
This anthology attempts to explore and validate the nuances of Indian popular fiction which has hitherto been hounded by its ubiquitous ‘commerical’ success by literary pundits. It seeks to uncover its gratifying impulses as well as literary merit, to engage with it both synchronically and diachronically and to contextualise the popular in its socio-political and cultural contexts. Furthermore, it investigates the vitality embedded in theory and praxis of popular forms and their insurrections in mutants and new age oeuvres and looks to examine the symbiotic bonds between the reader and the author, as the latter articulates and perpetuates the needs of the former whose demands need continual fulfilment. This constant metamorphosis of the popular fueled by neoliberalism and postmodernity along with the shifts in the publishing industry to more democratic ‘reader’ driven genres is taken up here along with the millenial’s fetish for romance, humanized mythical retellings and the evergreen whodunnits. As its natural soulmates, the anthology delves into the interstices of Indian Popular with desi traditions, folk lore, community consciousness and nation building.
Gitanjali Chawla, Folklorist, Researcher and Editor, is an Associate Professor of English with more than twenty-five years of teaching experience. Her research on the folk songs of Punjab and its rap mutants has led to an active participation in sevaral fora, both at the national and international level and has several publications in journals of repute to her credit. She has also dabbeled in translation and is keenly interested in innovative pedagogies in the virtual mode. She is the co-editor of three seminal anthologies,Cultures of the Indigenous: India and Beyond(2014),De-territorialising Diversities: Literature of the Indigenous and Marginalised(2014) andRe-storying the Indigenous and the Popular Imaginary(2017). She has also been the Presidential International Visiting Scholar 2018, Wheelock College, Boston University, USA where she delivered a public lecture along with lectures in various departments on various aspects of her research area. She is also the Secretary, FORTELL (Forum for Teachers of English Language and Literature) and has edited several issues of the journal,Fortell.
Sangeeta Mittal is Associate Professor in the Department of English. She has over twenty-five years of experience in teaching English literature, with the Jacobean Age, Restoration Literature and the Romantics as her favourite areas. Her desertation on ‘Delhi Culture: A Literary Perspective” undertakes an in-depth interdisciplinary analysis of “Delhi Culture” using Cultural, Urban and Memory studies to encapsulate the historical, topical, material and urban aspects of this complex and layered phenomenon. She has been extending her research on Delhi through research papers. Having been member of organizing committee, chiar, paper presenter and invited speaker at Interdisciplinary National Conferences onBiodiversity and Climate ChangeandCity Lives: Spaces and Narratives, she plans to continue her work on city and environment. With passionate interest in institution building, she has courses in educational leadership to her credit. She has contributed extensively to the corporate life of the College by serving in most portfolios and positions. She has taken up new writing papers in CBCS curriculum viz. Creative Writing, Academic Writing, Travel Writing and Translation Studies and wishes to strengthen this interest and expertise through resource building and FDPs.