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picturing south asian culture in english

Provides the reader with a fascinating insight into South Asian culture. Analyses its evolution from the days of the Raj right through to modern times and looks at how South Asian culture has been adopted by both Asians and non Asians in a variety of forms. An excellent read!

Rahila Bano
Senior Broadcast Journalist

As a seasoned cricket-watcher, I have become familiar with British, or rather English, perceptions of South Asia and its sportsmen. Cricket writers and broadcasters are forever waxing lyrical about the 'mystical elegance' of Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, the 'sinister ball-tampering' of various Pakistani fast bowlers, the 'magical wristiness' of Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Murilitharan, and the 'feebleness' of the Bangladeshi national team. There is an element of truth in each of these depictions, but far more interesting is the way in which English pundits are prone to talk in terms of stereotypes and typecast individuals and teams according to nationality.
[full review]

Peter Davies
Department of Humanities
University of Huddersfield

I have always liked reading anything connected to India. This book certainly provided me with a rich variety. There are examples of personal connections (eg. the impact a professor had on his PhD student) and more thorough academic research (eg. the role of the historical novel in the formation of cultural images) from the perspective of acquisition of personal knowledge of south Asia.

It is a book ideal for dipping in and out of, or simply using as a reference...
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Rosemin Najmudin manages 'Community Partnerships', a project addressing race and equality based in Worcestershire

Review from The Development Education Journal Volume 11 Number 1 2004

This erudite compilation of essays on South Asian culture in English comes out of Edge Hill College of Higher Education, Lancashire. The book progresses through four sections, reflecting a partly chronological, partly thematic narrative progression. It opens (‘Deconstructing History: Canonising Critical Constructions’) with the early colonial period and Samuel Foote’s play, The Nabob (1772), which satirised the nouveau riche, adventurous capitalists of the East India Company in Bengal, but whose critical edge was blunted by the playwright’s need to pander to his paymasters and audience, who both were drawn largely from this same merchant-class. One of the chief dynamics here is the use of farcical humour with its panoply of stereotypes, and Stephen Gregg’s essay demonstrates effectively that ultimately, such works serve simply as a Swiftian glass, “wherein beholders discover everybody’s face but their own”. In Foote’s play, there is also no sense of character development, let alone any sense of conscience, in its treatment of colonial subjects.

[full review]

Suhayl Saadi
Author of Psychoraag