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“Indiascape”: Bharati Mukherjee’s engagement with E.M. Forster, Hermann Hesse and R.K. Narayan

Maxey, Ruth


Associate Professor


Bharati Mukherjee is principally known for her best-selling 1989 novel Jasmine. But much of Mukherjee's early work, especially her unpublished creative and academic writing from the 1960s, has been overlooked by critics and scholars. My essay addresses this scholarly lacuna by evaluating her doctoral dissertation, "The Use of Indian Mythology in E.M. Forster's A Passage to India and Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha" (1969) and arguing that Forster in particular haunts her later writing. I also examine-via her little-known 1994 essay on teaching R.K. Narayan's The Financial Expert-another under-researched aspect of Mukherjee's life and work: pedagogy. By exploring her often fraught relationship with these earlier writers and their fictions of India, this essay argues for the complexity of her intertextual debt to their fiction and illuminates the beginning and end of the career of this important South Asian American writer.


Maxey, R. (2022). “Indiascape”: Bharati Mukherjee’s engagement with E.M. Forster, Hermann Hesse and R.K. Narayan. Postcolonial Text, 17(4),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 11, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Aug 18, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 31, 2022
Journal Postcolonial Text
Electronic ISSN 1705-9100
Publisher Open Humanities Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 4
Public URL
Publisher URL


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