Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Indian Fiction: Short Stories

I like reading a collection of short stories: you leave one out for the wait at the baggage claim and read the rest during the flight.

I have been reading short story collections of modern-ish indian writers. The previous generation (R. K. Narayanan, Kushwant Singh) were inspired by the villages and the oddity of contemporary life in India. Unlike the modern movies in India that look to Hollywood for material (song tunes, fight sequences, story plots), modern writers seem to be part of some diaspora (either within India or across countries) and look to the previous generation for the material. So experiences of parents/uncles/aunts get retold, and the generational passage is achieved not just in wealth as in parents buying the first homes for their children, but as in stories, struggles, sense of values, duties and guilts.

Observations: Mumbai and Kolkata get a lot of time in these books and to a limited extent Delhi too; women writers are plenty, even disproportionately?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love reading short stories.I enjoyed Satyajit's Ray's Feluda immensely. They're pure fun. I love RK Narayan too. These actually hooked me to reading Indian books. I really like A Girl and A River by Usha K R , I got it off
. I agree when you say that these stories which talk about India can always be read and re- read.

2:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ray is one of my faves. Thank you for the link!!
-- metoo.

2:05 PM  
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