Essay on Indian English Woman Novelist

Essay on Indian English Woman Novelist

Women are inherently artistic. Women and literature are
closely related to each other because it requires a lot of artistic creativity
to be good at literature and women are too good when it comes to artistic
creativity. 
The
Indian women have significantly contributed to the overall world literature as
equal with men writers. It is significant that the spirit of the age is more
pervasively and effectively reflected in the Indian woman’s fiction than in
other forms like poetry and drama. The novel, by its very nature, is better
equipped to deal with social reality, whatever, liberties it may take in
projecting it.
 From time immemorial India has predominantly
been a patriarchal society. Man occupied a prominent place in every sphere of
life leaving woman as a fragile creature to depend upon him for everything
beginning from her existence to her sustenance. In such a circumstance, a woman’s
struggle in a male dominated society can be but easily fathomed. She was
considered good for nothing when it came to do something intellectual or
artistic. Going to school or reading and writing were not something she was
capable of. Her only work was to bring forth children, rear them up and look
after household works. Operating with such background, it was inconceivable
that women were able to think, study or able to make decisions, could express
themselves in the form of speech, poetry, story telling, art etc. A. Sinha
opines, “Women in India are, by and large victim of social, economic and
political exploitation”
Thanks
to the British rule in India, it became a blessing in disguise for it gave
glimpses of possibilities that women could be allowed to obtain formal or
innovative education. In the midst of such inner struggle, India found a
prophet in Raja Ram Mohan Roy who being inspired by the English education and
their world planned to bring about a change in the condition of women in India.
In those days, women used to write about a
woman’s perception and experiences within the enclosed domestic arena. In the
19th century, more and more women actively participated in India’s reformist
movement against the British rule.
In the 20th century, women’s writing was considered as a powerful medium of
modernism and feminist statements. The last two decades have witnessed
phenomenal success in feminist writings of Indian English literature.

In the 20th and 21st Century women writers in India are
moving forward with their strong and sure strides, matching the pace of the
world. We see them bursting out in full bloom spreading their own individual
fragrances. They are recognized for their originality, versatility and the
indigenous flavor of the soil that they bring to their work. Yes, they are our
women writers.
The voice of new
Indian women writers through their writings, published in between 1980s and
1990s, has ushered in a literary renaissance is the third generation of women
Indian English writers like Nayantara
Sehgal, Anitha Desai, Arundhati Roy, Shashi Desh Pande, Gita Mehta, Bharathi
Mukherjee
, and Jhumpha Lahiri.

Away from this line of writing the lives of women, the most
successful of the Indian women writers is Jhumpa
Lahiri
who created the difference among all the women writers. She is a
dazzling storyteller with a distinctive voice.
She has achieved international applause for her writing which
mainly deals with Non-resident Indian characters, refugee issues and problems
people face in overseas lands. Mira
Nair
 directed a film based on her first novel The Namesake
in 2006. Her book ‘The Lowland’
was a nominee for the 2013 Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award for
Fiction.

Anita Desai
is unquestionably one of the celebrated Indian – English fiction writers.  She has been
shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times, was awarded the Sahitya Akademi
Award, in 1978 for her novel, “Fire
on the Mountain”
, by the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National
Academy of Letters. Her notable contributions are The Peacock, Voices
of the City
, Fire on the
Mountain
, Clear light of Day,
In Custody, Fasting, Feasting and The Village by the Sea.
The novelist with the most sustained achievement is Shashi Desh Pande who is labeled as
feminist novelist succeeded in depicting the plight of a successful educated
woman and problems of being a woman. Shashi Desh Pande’s novel That Long Silence (1988) is viewed
as her emergence as a major novelist. This novel won her the Sahitya Academe
award for 1990, tells the story of an Indian housewife Jaya, an upper-middle
class house wife. The lack of depth in a woman’s life is clearly depicted in
this novel. Her other novels include A
Matter of Time
, Small
Remedies
,
‘The
Dark Holds No Terror’
, ‘Roots and Shadows’ etc.

Manju
Kapoor
is
also one of the significant writers whose work establishes the nexus between
the tradition and modernity. The dominating works of Kapoor can be critically
seen in her significant novel Difficult
Daughters
(1998) which offer her
Common Wealth
Award.
Her novel ‘A Married Woman’
is a seductive story of a love at a time of political and religious upheaval,
and is told with sympathy and intelligence.

In the similar fashion, Bharati
Mukherjee’s
fame has shot up in the recent years as an Indian American
writer. Her novels Wife, Jasmine, The Holder of the World, Leave It To Me and Desirable
Daughters
make a bold attempt to rewrite the origins of America’s
history in the light of wider American experience. For instance her second
novel Wife (1975), she writes
about a woman named Dimple, who suppressed by men attempts to be the ideal
Bengali wife, but out of fear and personal instability murders her husband. Her
best fiction Jasmine (1989)
develops the idea of the synthesis of the East and West with a story telling of
young Hindu women, who leaves India for U.S. after her husband’s murder as an
illegal immigrant.  However, Bharati
Mukherjee recaptures history in the most aesthetic sense.

Gita
Mehta
is also another
woman writer who proclaimed about the problems of the contemporary immigrant
women with sublime standards. She wrote Snakes
and Ladders
and Glimpses of
Modern India
.

Arundhati
Roy
is the luminary
among the contemporary women writers. She is one of the women writers who wrote
about the plights of the downtrodden and the suppression of women in a male
dominated world and the influence of Marxism on the lives of the downtrodden.  
Her
novel ‘The God of Small Things’
won the 1997 Booker Prize for fiction and it was one of the bestselling books
at that time.

Another
renowned novelist of the modern Indian fiction is Kamala Markandaya. Her first novel, ‘Nectar in a Sieve’ (1955)’ is a bestselling novel. Her
other works are ‘Some 14 Inner Fun
(1965)’, A Silence of Desire
(1961), Possession (1963), A Handful of Rice (1966), The Nowhere Man (1972), The Rising (1973), The Golden Honey Comb (1977) and
Pleasure City (1982).

The second Indian to win a Booker Prize in 2006, for her book
“The Inheritance of Loss”,
Kiran Desai also won enthusiastic reviews for her debut novel, Hullabaloo
in the Guava Richard
.”
She is the daughter of Anita Desai and her
work is motivated by globalization, and the consequence of the country’s
development on all social classes.


Indira Goswami was honoured with the Jnanapith Award, which is the highest literary honour. Her work
focuses on women and different aspects of Assamese society. Her most famous works are ‘Pages Stained with Blood’ and ‘The Moth Eaten Howdah of Tusker’.

A novelist, poet, professor, and short story author, Chitra
Banerjee is indeed a gifted writer. Her significant works include Palace of
Illusion, and Mistress Of Spice. She was awarded the American Book Award for ‘Arranged Marriage’. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an
award-winning author and poet and her work has been published in more than 50
magazines, including the Atlantic
Monthly
and The New Yorker.

Anita Nair is an
Indian-English writer whose novels are keenly woven on the thread of human
nature and values; with a female oriented element. Her ‘Mistress’ was included in the list for the ‘Orange
Broadband Prize’ for Fiction.

Nayantara Sahgal
was born in 1927 and is an Indian writer in English. Her fiction deals with
India’s elite responding to the crises engendered by political change. She was
the first female Indo-Asian writer to receive wide recognition. Her main works
are: 1) Prison and Chocolate Cake
(memoir), 1954 2) This Time of Morning,
1965 3) Storm in Chandigarh,
1969 4) The Day in Shadow,
1971 5) Rich Like Us, 1988 6)
Lesser Breeds, 2003.

Other famous Women Writers in Indian English Literature
are Rama Mehta, Susan Viswanathan, Suniti
Namjoshi, Anuradha Marwah Roy, Nergis Dalal, Krishna Sobti, Dina Mehta, Malati Chendur, Gauri
Deshpande, Namita Gokhale, Ruth  S Jhabvala
and so on.

The
patriarchal society prevalent in India had jeopardized and crippled the Indian
mind to such an extent that men thought that no woman was found worthy of
education. Men considered themselves independent, superior and even almighty. A
man was invariably the breadwinner whereas the woman was supposed only to share
what the man had earned with his sweat and blood. It looked as though, a man’s
world would continue even without a woman. Traits are visible, that in ancient
India, women though having an enormous potential, were being unutilized and
underutilized. Today, women dare to walk shoulder to shoulder with men. They
are ready to expose the splendour and beauty of the world in which they live
have a better role to play than remaining mere spectators within the four walls
of the house. Women are not inferior to man in rank or performance in anyway.
This is true in the field of literature too.
~~~~~*~~~~~

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