This work traces the course of this history from its beginnings to recent times, dividing it into convenient periods, in an analytical, critical and engaging style.
Indian English literature began as an interesting by-product of an eventful encounter in the late eighteenth century between a vigorous and enterprising Britain and a stagnant and chaotic India, and is now nearly two hundred years old. It is literature written originally in English by authors Indian by birth, ancestry or nationality. It is no part of English literature, any more than American literature or Australian literature can be said to be a branch of British literature. It is legitimately a part of Indian literature, since its differentia is the expression in it of an Indian ethos.
Sahitya Akademi has accepted Indian English Literature as the most suitable appellation for this body of writing. The term emphasizes two significant ideas: first that this literature constitutes one of the many streams that join the great ocean called Indian literature, which, though written in different languages, has an unmistakable unity; and secondly, that it is an inevitable product of the nativization of the English language to express the Indian sensibility.
Widely acclaimed, the book is now in its fifth printing.