Situating itself in the aftermath of the Second World War, and the collapse of the British Empire, this course is interested in how the Anglophone novel as a literary and aesthetic form, evolved, responded, and extended itself in new directions in the second half of the twentieth century. Coping with the loss of Empire or celebrating liberation from it, and attempting to carve out a new identity by revising the old one and/or by embracing new hybridized realities, the novelists on the reading list will cover over five eventful decades, plotting the prodigious fecundity of the novel (definitely the literary genre that emerges as the frontrunner in this period). The course will foreground certain thematic or stylistics turns via representative novels from different regions to help better understand our aesthetics as contemporary readers.
Doris Lessing’s The Grass is Singing,
Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,
John Fowles’ French Lieutenant’s Woman,
Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners,
Patrick White’s Voss,
Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion,
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart,
Nuruddin Farah’s Maps,
Nadine Gordimer’s July’s People,
JM Coetzee’s The Live and Times of Michael K,
MG Vassanji’s The In-Between Worlds of Vikram Lall,
Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day.
Since the syllabi in MCPH are dynamic and regularly updated, this reading list is indicative and amenable to modifications in each session.