** Announcement **
Team ISSE is happy to announce writer Madhavi Mahadevan has joined us as an Associate Editor. Last year this site carried a review of Madhavi’s two collections of short stories* and published an interview (http://indianshortstoryinenglish.com/blog-2/) with her. The thoughts and approaches to the short story in particular and writing in general that Madhavi shared in the interview will resonate with the beginner as well the veteran writer. Madhavi lives in India so will be our eyes and ears there, where the action of the genre we represent takes place. We will be able to post reviews of the latest collections of short stories in India faster than we have been able to do so far. Welcome Madhavi!
This web site solicits and publishes reviews of Indian short stories written in English published since 2007. Our goal is to foster interest in this relatively unknown, but highly creative, area of literature.
The short story, second to poetry, is the literary form most suitable for recording the variety and nuance of Indian experience. Because it is governed by tradition, Indian life has little place for individual dictates. The result is that whatever experience it yields is predictable instead of unusual or dramatic. Variation is provided by details within this pattern. There are thus moments of dramatic or lyrical or tragic intensity, rather than a sustained experience, which offer insights into human nature. The short story with its concentration, brevity, and sensitivity can better record these moments than can the broader canvas of the novel.
There is a particular genre of short story, the Indian short story written originally in English, which has been neglected by critics. This is true even with the short story’s advantages over other literary forms and in spite of its considerable achievement. A number of books of criticism on other genres of Indian writing in English – the novel, poetry, drama – have been written; however, there is little criticism of consequence on the short story. This presents both a problem and an opportunity.
C.V.Venugopal’s book, The Indian Short Story in English: a Survey, published in 1976, has long been out of print. Themes in the Indian Short Story in English: An Historical and a Critical Survey, written by Murli Melwani and published in 2009, critiques short stories from 1835 to 2007-8. Indian publishing has mushroomed (this word has been advisedly chosen) since 2010, and a large number of collections of short stories in English have been published since then. These collections merit critical attention. This website has chosen to be the flag bearer of this intellectual pursuit. Since Indian colleges and universities include a paper on “Indian Writing in English” in their English syllabi, this website will hopefully serve as a resource for teachers, research scholars, and students, as well as those members of the general public who are interested the Indian short story.
We are humbled by the encouragement we have received. A few comments are given below:
“What a good initiative – timely too. I think there is a larger and more diverse reading audience now.” – Indira Chandrasekhar, editor of Out of Print magazine.
“Congratulations on running this new portal. Did go through it and the reviews are pretty intriguing to say the least. …. I would love to see the stories in the magazine reviewed at a platform like yours……Please let me know if there are any other ways in which I can help you.” – Nikhil Sharda, writer, filmmaker and editor of eFiction India
“Very, very well done!
Looking forward to your next visit and the opportunity to discuss this project in detail.” – Peter Hastorf
“This is such a wonderful initiative. The information on the home page is very well written indeed. Please do let me know if there is any other way I can help you get across to more readers / critics / media.”- Kulpreet Yadav, author of the best-selling thriller, Catching the Departed, and editor of Open Road Review
“It’s nice to see your site and all the reviews you’ve put up….. The short story is a form which deserves more attention and I’m glad you’ve taken this initiative.” – Vipul Rikhi, novelist, editor, translator, scriptwriter and a poet.
“ I had NO idea there were so many online publications and such talent contributing rich material.” – Saleem Peeradina, author of several books of poetry, including First Offence and Group Portrait, and a prose memoir, The Ocean in My Yard, which is a tribute to old Bombay, particularly the fishing village of Versova.
You are invited to submit reviews of collections of Indian short stories originally written in English and published between 2007 and the present. Please see the Submissions tab of this website for a description of the submission process and the means to make a submission.