Contemporary Indian English Fiction

Home/ Contemporary Indian English Fiction
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSOL2EN3044

Semester and Year Offered: I and III

Course Coordinator and Team:Dr.Sanju Thomas

Email of course coordinator:sanju[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: Indian English fiction has undeniably attained a grand stature among the literatures of the world. The post-Salman Rushdie era has brought in so much of commercial and critical success to Indian English fiction that it has spurred great ambition and prolific literary activities, with many Indians aspiring to write English fiction! Outside India, Indian English fiction is taken as representative writings from India, though at home the ‘Indianness’ of Indian English fiction is almost always questioned. A course in contemporary Indian English fiction will briefly review the history of Indian English fiction tracing it from its colonial origins to the postcolonial times to look at the latest trends, and how they paint the larger picture of India. Themes of nation, culture, politics, identity and gender will be taken up for in-depth analysis and discussions through representative texts. The aim will also be to understand and assess the cross-cultural impact of these writings.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1: What is Indian English Fiction?

This module takes the students through a brief history of Indian English fiction, and also attempts to problematize the concept of Indian English fiction.

Module 2: Midnight’s Children

This text is considered to have heralded in the golden age of Indian English fiction. A thorough analysis of the text which deals with its many themes, politics and language.

Module 3: The God of Small Things

This text takes forward the legacy of Midnight’s Children in more ways than one. A detailed study of the text will be undertaken especially with regard to its representation of caste, gender, of the local, and its locale.

Module 4: The Hungry Tide

A detailed reading in relation to the themes of alternate history, representation of the subaltern.

Module 5: The White Tiger (if time permits)

Analysis of the representation of the Indian society, identity and morality

In addition, each student will be expected to read 1 more novel as part of assessment, from the indicative list given below:

  • The Sari Shop by Rupa Bajwa
  • Ravan and Eddie by Kiran Nagarkar
  • Looking through Glass by Mukul Kesavan
  • A Thousand Faces of Night by Gita Hariharan
  • Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry
  • English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee
  • Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai
  • The Valley of Masks by Tarun Tejpal
  • The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor
  • The Radiance of Ashes by Cyrus Mistry
  • How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position by Tabish Khair
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
  • The Walled City by Esther David
  • Custody by Manju Kapur
  • An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
  • Listening Now by Anjana Appachana
  • Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
  • Serious Men by Manu Joseph
  • A Girl and A River by Usha KR
  • Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan

Tentative Assessment schedule with details of weightage:



Date/period in which Assessment will take place



Writing assignment





Early November



End term assessment

End of November