Sunday, May 22, 2022
Outlook.com
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Unwritten Chapters

Why does India resist honest biographies? Because the idea of an overarching public space is absent.

Unwritten Chapters
Unwritten Chapters
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The scandal that Katherine Frank created here with her revelations on Indira Gandhi had little to do with the revelations themselves, but with her temerity in putting what was common gossip into print.
S. Gopal "She's a foreigner so she can get away with it, but she wouldn't be able to take the same liberties if she were writing about an Englishwoman," India's most reputed historian-biographer Sarvepalli Gopal told Outlook. However, western readers, reared for half a century on soap-opera biographies focusing on their icons' deviant sex lives and rotten childhoods, have become far too inured to be affected by even the wildest surmises dished up by their huge biography industry.

Not unnaturally, biography is one genre of writing that Indian writers are reluctant to undertake, despite the talent which is fuelling a growing industry in Indian novels, now almost always tediously successful.

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