Written For Ever

Written For Ever

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A new kind of Indian writing in English was in the air in the early 1990s. Vikram Seth, Amitav Ghosh, I. Allan Sealy and Upamanyu Chatterjee had written their early books. The new current was promising, and Dharma Kumar, historian and editor of the famous Indian Economic and Social History Review, decided to publish a journal, along the lines of Granta and The New Yorker, dedicated to ferreting out the best literary talent. The journal, Civil Lines: New Writing from India, first appeared in 1994 and quickly attracted attention by publishing literary pieces that were a cut above, developing a cult following among readers of Indian writing in English. Till 2001, five issues had been publisheda€”totaling sixty-one individual contributions by thirty-eight contributors. Some of the contributors were then far from well known, and Civil Lines could be said to have given them a leg-up towards subsequent fame. Sheila Dhar, Susan Visvanathan, Raj Kamal Jha, Ruchir Joshi, Siddhartha Deb, Suketu Mehta, Amitava Kumar and Manjula Padmanabhan went on to become established writers after Civil Lines had published their smaller pieces. Ramachandra Guhaa€™s first brilliant essaya€”a five-finger exercise in literary anthropology which seems with hindsight to presage his later work on Verrier Elwina€”appeared in the inaugural issue. A little-known aspect of Amitav Ghosh is his interest in the short story. Ghosh contributed two pieces to the journala€”a reflective essay on the Indian practice of the short story and a wonderfully fluent translation of one of Tagorea€™s most famous tales, a€˜Kshudhita PAcshAcna€™ (The Hunger of Stones). The present anthology comprises a selection of the finest essays, stories and poems that were published in the first five issues of Civil Lines. The original issues of the journal are difficult to come by. This anthology is a must for all those interested in the best practitioners of desi English.THIS book consists of a selection of Indian writing in English published in the five issues of the journal Civil Lines: New Writing from ... only modestly well, causing this greatest of literary catastrophesa€”the death in its infancy of the countrya#39;s sui generis Civil Lines. ... Some pieces I kept out for reasons I cant myself fathom.

Title:Written For Ever
Author:Rukun Advani
Publisher:Penguin UK - 2009-11-03


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