Literary Radicalism in India situates postcolonial Indian literature in relation to the hugely influential radical literary movements initiated by the Progressive Writers Association and the Indian People's Theatre Association. In so doing, it redresses a visible historical gap in studies of postcolonial India. Through readings of major fiction, pamphlets and cinema, this book also shows how gender was of constitutive importance in the struggle to define 'India' during the transition to independence.

chapter |12 pages


chapter |26 pages

1 The critical spirit

Decolonisation and the Progressive Writers Association

chapter |26 pages

2 Gender, modernity and the politics of space

Rashid Jahan, ‘Angareywali’

chapter |24 pages

3 Habitations of womanhood

Ismat Chughtai's secret history of modernity

chapter |34 pages

4 Dangerous bodies

Masculinity, morality and social transformation in Manto

chapter |23 pages

5 Straight talk or spicy masala?

Citizenship, humanism and affect in the cinematic work of K. A. Abbas

chapter |7 pages


‘Sustaining Faith' and the legacy of Progressive writing