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India, where economic self-sufficiency has been a mantra for more than four decades, is opening up to the world: the book industry is no exception to India’s growth. India’s market potential for English titles attracts great interest on the part of American and British publishers. Our purpose will be to look at the recent evolutions in the Indian industry and to map out trends and cultural tensions, as vernacular writers and “international stars” compete for the Indian reading market.
The information contained in this article is based on field research (interviews conducted at book fairs and book events in India, Europe and North America, over the last ten years) as well as on critical articles by academics specialized in Indian literature, press, journal and internet articles, historic accounts and novels.
We will focus on three points in order to understand the present situation of the Indian novel in English. First of all, we will seek to outline historical context for the Indian novel in English: in the pre-Gandhi era, tensions are already palpable. What types of questions are raised? Where do the tensions come from? Secondly, we will consider the debates around the question of the English language? Finally, we will focus on Non Resident Indians (NRI) writers and RI writers, their differences and the relationship between the two communities.
|Keywords:||Book Fairs, India, Cultural Tension, Commercial Tension, Identity, Bestsellers, Vernacular Writers|
Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Foreign Languages and Corporate Cultures, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Nantes, France
PhD Student, Department of Communication, Foreign Languages and Corporate Cultures/ IRCCyN, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France
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