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Picture of Narratives Across Borders

Narratives Across Borders

Author(s): Manju Jaidka

Book Description

This volume is centred around the idea that the aim of literature is to build bridges, to bring people together, and to highlight underlying similarities despite the apparent differences in world literatures. As such, the book focuses on the moral purpose of literature and its tendency to overcome divisive forces. It supports the idea of cosmopolitanism, a re-working of the ancient Indian ideal of Vasudhaiva Kuttumbakam, or ‘the world is my home’, a concept close to the African notion of ‘ubuntu’, which refers to an open society (as against a small, enclosed one) and relates to the essence of being human and working for the benefit of a larger community.

The book uses examples from texts across geographical and cultural borders, beginning with classics like the Indian epics, the Panchatantra, the Kathasaritsagar, and the Arabian Nights, before moving on to contemporary texts in the age of information technology. Although these may originate against diverse backdrops, they have a commonality that cannot be denied. The stories we tell, the tales we love to hear and repeat, all share certain features which reach out across boundaries of time and space, thus bridging the gap between people and places. Living in today’s globalized world, there is a need to study literature in a broader perspective and to be aware that, though stories may be rooted in a particular time and place, they are still a part of the world heritage and comprise what is called world literature.

The book will be of particular interest to scholars studying the art of storytelling, as well as the lay reader passionate about literature.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-8811-0
ISBN-10: 1-4438-8811-7
Date of Publication: 01/04/2016
Pages / Size: 150 / A5
Price: £41.99


Manju Jaidka is a Professor at the Department of English and Cultural Studies at Panjab University, Chandigarh. The recipient of prestigious national and international fellowships, she has several publications to her credit, with 11 critical books and more than fifty research papers published in national and international journals. Aside from her academic writing, she has also published three novels, a play, and a collection of poems. As the Chairperson of the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi over an extended period, she has organised literary events on a regular basis, and, as the chief functionary of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the World (MELOW), she organises international conferences on an annual basis. Professor Jaidka also serves on several prestigious committees at the national and international level.