The days when the redoubtable P. G. Wodehouse was the most popular English-language writer in India are well and truly gone. And so it was fascinating the other day to see the list of the Top Ten Indian Writers in English …
What’s interesting about this list is not just the fact that Indian writers writing in English about their own country have at last replaced non-Indian writers setting down their impressions of Indian life – though that’s surely significant from a sociological point of view.
What’s equally fascinating is that, in a country which the authoritative SIL Ethnologue lists as having no fewer than 415 living languages, all these writers – and many thousands more like them – have chosen to tell their stories in English.
This is one of the positive globalizing effects of English.
As Indian literacy improves, and as the Indian middle class grows, more and more writers are choosing English as the language in which to express themselves – because they know it will bring their tales to the widest possible audience.
- Chetan Bhagat
- Kiran Desai
- Avarind Adiga
- Amitav Ghosh
- Salman Rushdie
- Amit Chaudhuri
- Vikram Seth
- Anita Desai
- Ruskin Bond
- Shobhaa De
Those days are now well and truly gone. Though P. G. Wodehouse remains a great and amusing writer!