Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Importance of the Indian Short Story to the World

(This post was first published by John Dean in Global Short Stories,

A lot of our blog readers (and a few entries into the Global Short Competition as well) come from India and, as I often do, I research the art form in the various countries from which we receive entries.

While doing that, I came across a terrific article by M. S. Nagarajan, published in 2010 in The Hindu and reviewing the book Themes in the Indian Short Story in English by Murli Das Melwani (Prakash Book Depot).

Charting the growth in the Indian short story since 1935, M S Nagarajan wrote about its growing importance on the world stage, saying: “There are more women writers now than at any time in the past. Altering perspectives in man-woman relationships, alienation in modern life and the impact of feminism and feminist theories on the academia have supplied meat and juice to a potential creative writer.

“As readership expanded across the world, Indian stories tended to get translated into foreign languages. The author is quite right in his assessment that the short story has covered a wider range of subjects with a larger gallery of characters and that the record of Indian life is more authentic in this genre than in the novel .. we need more — and yet more — of such narrative histories that can discuss changes in artistic trends, materials, techniques, et al. The scope for the Indian short story is indeed boundless.”

A classic case of writers responding to, and changing, the world around them.

The full text is on, which includes more about Themes in the Indian Short Story in English by Murli Das Melwani.

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