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New Voices in the Indian Novel

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New Voices in the Indian Novel - Lesson Summary

As the printing and circulation of novels increased several new sections of Indian society got introduced to reading and writing. Many people thought that reading a novel could have adverse effects on impressionable readers like women and children.

Women liked novels as it told them stories about women who made choices in relationships and gained some control over their lives. The earliest writings by women consisted of poems, essays and autobiographical pieces.

In the 20 th century, women in South India began to write novels and short stories. In 1905, Rokeya Hossein, a reformer from Bengal wrote a feminist short story called ‘Sultana’s Dream’ about a female utopia. Indian novels clearly depicted the changing social realities of those times.

The Malayalam novel Indulekha highlighted the marriage debate between the Nambuthiri Brahmins and the Nayars. Many people from the suppressed groups like Dalits and peasants began writing as well like Potheri Kunjambu and Advaita Malla Burman. Vaikkom Mohammad Bashir, an early Muslim Malayalam writer, dwelt on personal experience and wrote short stories and novels in a lucid language.

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