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Mirrorwork: 50 Years of Indian Writing 1947-1997 Paperback – August 15, 1997
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Many of the authors included in this collection are known to Western readers--Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, for example, Arundhati Roy, Rohinton Mistry, and of course Rushdie himself, to name just a few. Others, such as Saadat Hasan Manto (the only author here to appear in translation) or G.V. Desani, may be welcome new reading experiences. The anthology is a fascinating mix of nonfiction (Nehru's famous "Tryst with Destiny" speech, in which he uttered the immortal words "At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom," or Nayantara Sahgal's "With Pride and Prejudice") and fiction that ranges from the "Stendhalian realism of a writer like Rohinton Mistry" to Rushdie's own wild flights of fantasy. In all its diversity of styles, themes, and approaches, Mirrorwork is a reflection of the wonderful bedfellows the English language and the Indian sensibility truly make. --Alix Wilber
From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
As far as could be determined, more than two-thirds of the pieces came from the 1980s and 90s, and a fifth from the 1940s and 50s. There seemed to be very little from the 1960s and 70s.
Though this was an anthology of Indian writing, also included were works by two authors from Pakistan -- Bapsi Sidhwa (1938-) and Sara Suleri (1953-) -- together with another who left India for Pakistan, Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-55). And Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (1927-), a woman of Jewish heritage who was born in Germany and married to an Indian. V. S. Naipaul, according to Rushdie's introduction, declined inclusion in the collection.
Nearly all the writers selected had spent some years living in the West or currently live there. The few exceptions, as far as could be judged, were Narayan, Manto, Ray, Chatterjee and Roy.
In his introduction, Rushdie generated some controversy by stating that in the course of compilation he'd found Indian prose in English during the period was proving to be stronger and more important than writing in the vernacular languages, and that the writing in English was perhaps India's most valuable contribution to the world of books. As a result, all but one of the selections made for the anthology were written originally in that language. Of works in the many vernacular languages, only Manto's piece from the 1950s, translated from Urdu, was judged worthy of inclusion.Read more ›
Had Mr. Rushdie not claimed to have collected works representing the entire Indian literature spectrum, he could have been fended a lot of the criticism that this book received.
No one should expect an anthology to be complete- their very nature is to exclude more than they include.
I appreciate seeing some of my favorite "Indian" authors in print (Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy among others) and I look forward to a companion edition in the future.
If anyone would like to recommend another anthology of post-indepence Indian fiction I would be interested in hearing about it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book was practically in mint condition--the only sign it had been used was a slight crease in the cover. Read morePublished on September 28, 2009 by Albacore
Very slanted in its choice of the authors, the book can hardly claim to be representative of Indian writing. Read morePublished on August 22, 1998