It’s the same Indian Curry – the spices are Indian, the flavours remain rural and the colours are still rich and earthy, except for the fact that it is savoured with a different spoon. That is Indo-Anglian literature or English literature penned by an Indian author. With the sudden surge of writers in this genre, its history is very recent, mostly limited to the last two centuries. As a category it owes its roots to the post-colonial era and today with almost three Nobel laureates and five Booker Prize holders it finds a much respected place on the racks of international bookstores. Compiled below is a timeline that traces the birth of various writers in this genre right from its roots in the year 1759:
1759 –Birth of Dr. Brighton, famously remembered as Sake Dean Mahomet who laid the foundations of Indo-Anglian literature with his autobiographical travel narrative “The Travels of Dean Mahomet” written during his stay at Cork in 1794. A remarkably versatile entrepreneur he presented British India through the lens of a common man.
1905 – Birth of Mulk Raj Anand, another towering figure in this genre, best remembered for his depiction of the neglected castes of society in his book “The Untouchable”.
1908 – Birth Of Raja Rao, who published the first major English novel in this genre called “Kanthapura” which portrayed a small South Indian village as a microcosm of the traditional Indian society along with its participation in the Gandhian movement. He also went on to become the first Indian to win the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, often referred to as the “American Noble”.
1909 – Birth of G.V.Desani, the man behind the cult literary piece “All About H.Haterr” in Nairobi,Kenya.
1910 – Ahmad Ali, an Indian and later Pakistani, novelist, poet, scholar, critic and diplomat responsible for writing “Twilight in Delhi”, is born.
1927 – The second daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru’s sister, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit and the author of the Sahitya Akademi award winning “Rich like Us”, Nayantara Sahgal is born.
1929 - Purushottama Lal, the best known translator of the “Mahabharata” into English and the founder of the Writer’s Workshop in Calcutta mainly for the publications of the English works of Indian authors, is born in Kapurthala, Punjab.
1934 – Ruskin Bond, one of India’s most loved authors and a master of simple storytelling, is born in Kasauli.
1935 - Birth of Zulfikar Ghose, the author of the sparking trilogy “The Incredible Brazilian” in Sialkot, then India.
1937 – Birth of Anita Mazumdar Desai, three time Booker Prize nominee and known for her books “The Village By The Sea” and “Fire in the Mountain”.
1944 - Chandan Kumar Bhattacharya is born in Tamluk, West Bengal. He launched the Prakalpana Movement in the Bengali language, later involving it with Indo-Anglian literature, in Kolkata “to define a whole new kind of writing, one that draws from all genres, drama to poetry to fiction” with their journal “Swatotsar” and his magnum opus “Cosmosphere” or “Atiprithibi” in 1969.
1948 – Birth of Shobhaa De, a well known Indian columnist and journalist.
1951 - Allan Sealy, the author of “The Totter Nama” is born in Allahabad.
1952 – Padma Shri Vikram Seth is born in Calcutta. He went on to write one of the best and the longest novels ever published in a single volume in the English language, namely “The Suitable Boy”.
1956 – Amitav Ghosh, known for his aesthetic and powerful award winning novels “Calcutta Chromosome”, “The Hungry Tide” and “The sea Of Poppies” and Chitra Banerjee, the woman known for portraying the pangs and emotions of one of the greatest women of Indian mythology namely Draupadi through her booke “The Palace Of Illusions” is born in Calcutta; Shashi Tharoor who went on to become the only Indian Under – Secretary General at the United Nations and also wrote some brilliant books like his satirical remodeling of the “Mahabharata”, “The Great...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document