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Anxieties of Empire and the Fiction of Intrigue


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Colonial Anxieties and the Fiction of Intrigue 2. Imperial Intrigue in an English Country House 3. Sherlock Holmes and "the Cesspool of Empire": The Return of the Repressed 4. The Fiction of Counterinsurgency 5. Intermezzo: Postcolonial Modernity and the Fiction of Intrigue 6. Police and Postcolonial Rationality in Amitav Ghosh's The Circle of Reason 7. "Deep in Blood": Roy, Rushdie, and the Representation of State Violence in India 8. "The Unhistorical Dead": Violence, History, and Narrative in Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost Conclusion: "Power Smashes Into Private Lives": Cultural Politics in the New Empire Notes Index

Promotional Information

" Anxieties of Empire is a probing, original account of nineteenth- and twentieth-century detective fiction from Britain and India that reveals the genre's preoccupation with the old and new empires, with national boundaries and the state. The book brings together a wide range of materials and important fictional texts to produce a fascinating historical and literary trajectory of the 'fiction of intrigue' and its afterlives in postcolonial and Anglophone novelistic traditions. Yumna Siddiqi's methodological precision and cultural histories reveal manifold layers of narrative complexity even as she moves the discussion seamlessly between imperial metropole and postcolony. This book will prove valuable reading for all literary scholars, but especially for scholars in nineteenth-century, Victorian, and postcolonial cultural studies." -- Betty Joseph, Rice University, author of Reading the East India Company 1720-1840: Colonial Currencies of Gender "In this lucid and wide-ranging book, Yumna Siddiqi explores the intimate connections that exist between power and narrative. Her study begins by looking closely at what she calls 'fictions of intrigue' during the height of Britain's colonial empire, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, showing how certain imperial anxieties found relief in various storytelling strategies. From there, she moves into an examination of the so-called New Empire, following the persistence of certain narrative strategies in the postcolonial world. Her critiques of such writers as Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, and Michael Ondaatje are deeply considered, and revelatory. This is an important book, not only for postcolonial studies but also for literary studies in the broadest sense." -- Jay Parini, author of One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner "

About the Author

Yumna Siddiqi grew up in Bombay, where she lived by the sea. She went to college at Brandeis University outside Boston and earned a Ph.D. in English and comparative literature at Columbia University in New York City. She is now associate professor of English at Middlebury College in Vermont.


[A] well-written and scholarly work. English Literature in Transition 1880-1920

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