Author: Meenakshi Mukherjee
Publisher: Pencraft International
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8185753466
This study of the Indian Novel in English has remained a seminal book for the last three decades.
This was the earliest work to apply rigorous standards of critical analysis to this new field of study and to situate the novels studies in their historical and social context. Written in the elegant and jargon-free language 'The Twice Born Fiction' laid the foundations for future discourse in this field and anticipated some of the issues relating to nation, gender, power and identity that postcolonial theory was to take up subsequently. It is being reissued in the belief that the present-day reader would be interested in re-examining the paradigms that this book set up.
It is an extremely interesting book, lucidly written and displaying qualities of scholarship and attention that are noticeably absent from most Indian writing on literature. For those who see Indian fiction in English as an alien and alienating art form, this book will serve as an eye-opener and perhaps help them see how much fiction in English and in the Indian languages have in common. For those who have already read a fair amount of the former, the book will help provide deeper insights and a clearer perspective than any other book on the subject. For both these reasons, it is the book we have been waiting on the ….. Altogether, a book that makes most previous writing on the subject seem off the mark and no one interested in Indian writing in English should ignore it.
Adil Jussawala, Times of India
Meenakshi Mukherjee has written a well-planned and incisive critique that will provide criteria of judgment for writers as well as critics and general readers. Unlike many critics, Indian and western alike, she is not bemused by established reputations such as Raja Rao's, whose nostalgia and stylized archaisms are unflinchingly criticized ….. Her stylistic commentary is invaluable; it is not surprising that with her sensitivity to language and a natural style she should place Narayan as the almost single 'perfect example of the fact that the matter and style of a given piece of writing cannot be separated.'
Michael Thorpe, English Studies
Three qualities are needed in a good critic. The first is humility…. There is no attempt (in this book) to run down or show off, only an effort to clarify, illuminate and communicate, but she is always on the critical alert . . . . Secondly, a system, the imposition of intelligent order on a large corpus of unrelated or vaguely related material. This is in fact one of the best things about 'The Twice Born Fiction . . . Thirdly, the critic must make the reader want to go back to the originals. . . So assured, compelling and reasonable are the arguments, insights and conclusions in the 'The Twice Born Fiction' that I must now settle down to re-reading the texts.
P. Lal, Hindusthan Standard