Definition

“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” ~Italo Calvino, The Uses of Literature

“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” ~Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel

Indian English Literature (IEL) refers to the body of work by writers in India who write in the English language and whose native or co-native language could be one of the numerous languages of India. Its early history began with the works of Michael Madhusudan Dutt followed by R. K. Narayan, Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao who contributed to Indian fiction in the 1930s. It is also associated with the works of members of the Indian diaspora, such as V. S. Naipaul, Kiran Desai, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kovid Gupta, Agha Shahid Ali, Rohinton Mistry and Salman Rushdie, who are of Indian descent.

While there’s more to an English literature degree than reading hefty tomes until your eyes go square, it’s fair to say that reading and analyzing written works is likely to be central to your studies. During an English literature degree, students scrutinize and debate a variety of texts, as well as acquiring knowledge of literary movements, periods and critical approaches that have shaped the way we view literature today.