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November 9, 2016 at 8:24 am

Reviewers Respond Positively to Singh’s Partition Book

Professor Amritjit Singh, co-editor of Revisiting India’s Partition: New Essays on Memory, Culture, and Politics (Photo Credit: Supreet Kohli)

Professor Amritjit Singh, co-editor of Revisiting India’s Partition: New Essays on Memory, Culture, and Politics (Photo Credit: Supreet Kohli)

by Kristin M. Distel

Dr. Amritjit Singh’s edited volume, Revisiting India’s Partition: New Essays on Memory, Culture, and Politics (Lexington Books, June 2016), has begun to receive strong reviews from international news outlets. The book, co-edited by Singh with Professor Nalini Iyer and Dr. Rahul K. Gairola, has also been published in India by Orient Blackswan.

Singh is the Langston Hughes Professor of English and African American Studies at Ohio University.

In a review published in the journal Book Review (New Delhi), Debjani Sengupta, author of The Partition of Bengal: Fragile Borders and New Identities, provides an overview of the volume’s five sections and notes the ambitious nature of the book. She also commends the editors for including essays that look beyond 1947 to the far-reaching consequences of India’s Partition. Sengupta remarks that the book “lays bare the elliptical ways of how whole communities felt, remembered, and tried to resist the cataclysmic division and growth of sectarian hatred.” She further cites Singh’s co-authored chapter on Pakistani writer Intizar Husain as the volume’s strongest essay. “An anthology of this kind is a timely reminder that the 1947 Partition cannot be stripped of its historical significance nor can it be dissociated from the orgiastic violence in the subcontinent that is one of its legacies,” Sengupta concludes.

Cover of Professor Singh's co-edited volume, Revisiting India's Partition: New Essays on Memory, Culture, and Politics

Professor Singh’s co-edited volume, Revisiting India’s Partition: New Essays on Memory, Culture, and Politics

Reviewing the book in International Examiner, novelist Bharti Kirchner praises the book’s usefulness, citing its clear prose and cohesive structure. Kirchner briefly examines the existing literature on the subject of India’s Partition and notes that Singh’s book “add[s] to the richness of this trove.” She further states, “These accomplished essays, despite their academic leanings, can benefit serious readers in furthering their knowledge of the subcontinent or be used as reference material.”

Somdatta Mandal, Professor of English at Visva-Bharati University, remarks in The Statesman that the volume “consists of nineteen richly layered and thought-provoking interdisciplinary essays.” Mandal carefully summarizes the book’s sections and roundly praises the volume as a whole. She also commends the contributing authors’ efforts to examine India’s Partition from a variety of unconventional viewpoints. “It is a highly recommendable volume and the editors need to be congratulated for bringing such new ‘Partition fare’ [to] our table,” Mandal states.

Revisiting India’s Partition: New Essays on Memory, Culture, and Politics is currently available via Lexington Books and on Amazon.

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