Vanessa Guignery, “Literature and the Indian working class: Mridula Koshy in conversation” Journal of Postcolonial Writing, January 2023

Vanessa Guignery is a professor of contemporary English and Postcolonial Literature at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and was a visiting researcher at CSH (January 2022 – April 2022). Her interview of a reputed writer Mridula Koshy entitled “Literature and the Indian working class: Mridula Koshy in conversation“, was published in the Journal of Postcolonial Writing on 03 January 2023.

Abstract: In this interview conducted in Delhi on March 20, 2022, Indian author Mridula Koshy discusses the specific circumstances of writing, publishing, and reading in contemporary India. She talks about her determination to engage in a conversation that involves all members of Indian society and explains why, a few years ago, she decided to stop writing fiction and concentrate instead on her work at the free community library she co-founded in Delhi. Referring to her short stories and her 2016 novel Bicycle Dreaming, she discusses her interest in small lives and unexceptional characters. She shares her dissatisfaction with Indian contemporary literature in English that portrays the working class in a way that satisfies the curiosity of middle-class readers but fails to engage with a larger readership. On the other hand, she praises the scope of Indian literature in other languages, especially in Malayalam and Tamil.

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