Travel narratives are intimately linked with the construction of identity. Occupying the space between fact and fiction, they expose cultural fault lines and reveal the changing desires and anxieties of both the traveller and the reader. Although the travel writing has always attracted a wide readership, it has only recently won significant attention from scholars.
This anthology brings out different kinds of travel narratives from India, written both in English and the Bhasha literatures. Divided into five sections, the essays in this anthology explore the ways in which travel writing has defined, reflected, or constructed Indian identity. They trace Indian journeys from the 18th century right up to the present times, creating Indian ‘selves’ and Indian landscapes through affirmation, exclusion, and negation of others. They also examine a wide range of issues such as ‘home’ to ‘self’ and the ‘other’, travels to the imperial West during the colonial period, visits to countries of the Far East, pilgrimages undertaken within the country, trips to the Himalayas, and also internal journeys.
This anthology will be of interest to scholars of history, literature, culture studies, and also to the reader, who wishes to delve into the multifarious depths of Indian travel writing.
About The Author
Somdatta Mandal teaches at the Department of English & Other Modern European Languages, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan. A recipient of several prestigious fellowships like the Fulbright, Charles Wallace, Rockefeller Residency and Salzburg Seminar, she has published widely both nationally and internationally. Her areas of interest are contemporary fiction, film and culture studies and diaspora studies. She has also received the Sahitya Akademi Award for translating short fiction. She is at present translating a series of women’s travelogues from Bengal.