30 November, 2020

The Spiral Of Reason

What's fascinating is how his oeuvre has developed......but without ever losing sight of its main concerns

Man's World
The Spiral Of Reason
The past 11 years have been good to fiction written in English by Indians, including non-resident ones. One can think of many writers who have published important novels and collections of stories in the period, building on the groundwork laid by older generations—by Raja Rao, R.K. Narayan and Attia Hosain, by Khushwant Singh, Shashi Deshpande and Anita Desai.

However, it can be argued that some—like Salman Rushdie and Vikram Seth—published their (as yet) most significant books before 1995. And some—like Arundhati Roy, Upamanyu Chatterjee or Pankaj Mishra—have published interesting works of fiction, but far too few. On the other hand, Amitav Ghosh, while he started publishing before 1995, has not only been prolific but has also gone from strength to strength. It is this—not the literary awards and honours (or the controversy when he turned down a nomination for the prestigious Commonwealth prize in 2001)—that makes me choose Ghosh as my candidate for the most significant writer of the past 11 years.

What is fascinating...


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