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Wasafiri, the Magazine of International Contemporary Writing, is pleased to announce the publication of our new Special Issue, ‘Britain and India: Cross-cultural Encounters’. The issue features some of the most gifted South Asian writers and poets of the 1920s and ’30s, includes interviews with Amitav Ghosh and Nayantara Sahgal, and interrogates the impact of South Asian publishing, theatre, art and film in Britain in the early twentieth century.
Guest editor Florian Stadtler writes:Conceptualised as a ‘Retro’ edition, this Special Issue of Wasafiri turns back the clock to present some of the best of yesteryear’s contemporary South Asian writing today. Opening a window onto the publishing culture of the time, the short fiction and poetry in the issue are framed by essays highlighting South Asian contributions to diverse forms of cultural expression ranging from drama, fiction, film and poetry to visual art. The magazine’s content is underpinned by the research of the three-year AHRC-funded interdisciplinary project, ‘Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, 1870-1950’ (2007-10), which explored South Asian participation in intellectual and literary networks, art movements and activist groupings during this less-explored period of Britain’s multicultural history. The material featured highlights South Asians’ often fraught and dissenting interactions with Britain’s cultural establishment, which provoked questions around citizenship, cultural and trans-cultural identity, still relevant in today’s context.
This Special Issue of Wasafiri features some of the most gifted South Asian writers and poets of the 1920s and ’30s, including Mulk Raj Anand, Attia Hosain, Iqbal Singh and Cedric Dover among others. It also includes interviews with two acclaimed contemporary authors, Amitav Ghosh and Nayantara Sahgal — who both explore the past to understand what that means for the present and the future. In addition, the impact of South Asian publishing, theatre, art and film in Britain in the early twentieth century are interrogated in a series of thought-provoking articles, whilst the Review Section includes coverage of Asian British history, classic and new fiction and life writing. ‘Britain and India: Cross-cultural Encounters’ uncovers a little known history of the UK’s past cultural encounters with South Asia and offers us keen insights into how we might build on such foundations in the twenty-first century.
The following events are also linked to the publication of this Special Issue of Wasafiri:
* A visual exhibition, ‘South Asians Making Britain 1858-1950’ at Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP during their Festival of Asian Literature from 9 to 21 May 2012. See the Asia House website for more details.
* A discussion event, ‘Writing Beyond the Frame: Asians in Bloomsbury’, with Elleke Boehmer, Romesh Gunesekera and Sukhdev Sandhu, chaired by Wasafiri editor Susheila Nasta at the Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival on Sunday 8 July 2012 at 12.00 pm. See the Southbank Centre website for more details.
Contents of Britain and India: Cross-cultural Encounters
Florian Stadtler: EditorialSusheila Nasta: In Conversation with Nayantara SahgalBharati Sarabhai: PoemM J Tambimuttu: PoemMulk Raj Anand: Fiction: The TerroristRehana Ahmed: South Asians Writing Resistance in Wartime London: Indian Writing (1940-1942)Alagu Subramaniam: Fiction: The MathematicianElleke Boehmer: Travel Writing: An Indian Traveller’s Tale in BricolageAnshuman Mondal and Elleke Boehmer: Networks and Traces: An Interview with Amitav GhoshAttia Hosain: Fiction: A Woman and a ChildSarah Turner: ‘Alive and Significant’: ‘Aspects of Indian Art’, Stella Kramrisch and Dora Gordine in South Kensington c. 1940Iqbal Singh: Tagore: A DeterminationCedric Dover: PoemsBalachandra Rajan: PoemPriya Jaikumar: Sabu’s Skins: The Transnational Stardom of an Elephant BoyAhmed Ali: Fiction: Our LaneSumita Mukherjee: The Staging of Sakuntala in London from 1885 to the 1920sShafquat Towheed: Review Essay: South Asian writing between the wars: publishers, reviewers, readers
Reviews on:Richard Sorabji: Opening Doors: The Untold Story of Cornelia SorabjiSantanu Das, ed: Race, Empire and First World War WritingRupert Richard Arrowsmith: Modernism and the MuseumDebashish Banerji: The Alternate Nation of Abanindranath TagoreRabindranath Tagore: The Essential Tagore, Fakrul Alam and Radha Chakravarty, edAttia Hosain: Phoenix Fled and Other Stories and Sunlight on a Broken ColumnZohra Segal: Close-Up: Memoirs of a Life on Stage and ScreenColin Chambers: Black and Asian Theatre in BritainC L Innes: A History of Black and Asian Writing in BritainAmitav Ghosh: River of SmokeHema Macherla: Blue EyesMita Kapur: The F-WordSaumya Balsari: The Cambridge Curry Club
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