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Decentering Rushdie: Cosmopolitanism and the Indian Novel in English, Pranav Jani, Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2010

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Abstract Decentering Rushdie argues that postcolonial studies has consistently underestimated the investment of the English-language Indian novel in the nation by focusing on a handful of texts that conform to Western assumptions about the bankruptcy of the postcolonial nation-state. Taking Salman Rushdie’s work as the sign of a presumed homology between postcolonialism and a postmodern distrust of totality, Jani demonstrates that his novels are hardly representative of the range of Indian writing in English. Instead, in a series of expert readings of less well-known texts, he demonstrates the commitment to the decolonising project that exists even within the inevitably cosmopolitan worldview of Indians writing in a colonial language. Situating his work within foundational debates in postcolonial studies, this review demonstrates the fresh light he sheds on the vexed relations among historical location, political ideology and literary form.


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Affiliations: 1: University at Albany


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