Original English writing in the South Asian Subcontinent was already on a firm footing in the early decades of this century, with its rather urbane battery of writers and press, official encouragement, and an attentive audience in the colonial world. It was backed up by a tradition of local English writing, then older than a century. Following the partition of India, and independence from Britain of both India and Pakistan in 1947, the language and the literary writing in it have flourished, often in ways unforeseen and striking. Alongside substantial development in other languages and literatures of the region, the phenomenal rise in both quantity and quality of writing in English in all forms is evidently the most significant cultural aspect of the postindependence era--all the more interesting as it has happened in certain instances contrary to expectation, and even declared government policy, and not just in Pakistan or India, but also in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
POSTINDEPENDENCE VOICES IN SOUTH ASIAN WRITINGS offers important readings in South Asian Literatures in English. Both the scholarly and creative contributions also indicate the main trends, and this book is the first of its kind in more than half a century.