Anita Desai and her world
The novel is deeply rooted in reality. It explores the ordinary and commonplace in all its complexities. It is an effective medium which portrays human thoughts and actions. The characters reveal their intentions in dialogues. Novel presents a view of life through incidents, characters, motives and reveals the way in which the author looks upon the world. The Indo-Anglican literature in the recent past has attracted a wide-spread interest. It has been realized that literature written in Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa, Canada, Nigeria and India is in no way inferior and has come to be realized as of great significance in World Literature. Moreover, the writers of these countries have substantially and significantly contributed to modern English. The major segment in Indian writing in English constitutes novels by women writers.
Women novelists appeared on the literary scene around 1874 and chose English as their medium. After the second world war they started enriching the Indian Fiction in English. Women Novelists like Kamala Markandaya, Ruth Prawar Jhabwala, Nayantara Sehgal, Anita Desai, Attia Husain, focused on women’s issues and had a woman’s perspective of the world. Anita Desai’s name has gained a special significance in the galaxy of Indian Women Writers of fiction. She has given a new direction of Indian English Literature by taking up hitherto unexplored areas of a woman’s mental landscape. She is a novelist of considerable merit and possesses as unusual but appealing talent. “She is a member of a second generation of Indian novelists writing in English, who has enriched the novel in more ways than one” (Ann Lowry Weir, Perspectives on Anita Desai 1). It is her thematic concerns and technical innovations that have made her “a disturbing and demanding presence in Indo-Anglican fiction” (D.S. Maini, Perspectives on Anita Desai 216).
Anita Desai was born at Mussoorie in 1937 of a German...