I would argue, however, that there are certain thematic similarities and trajectories in their work that may help account for at least the arc of academic interest in their writings.
Naipaul and Salman Rushdie.
Multicoloured Glass: Studies on Indian Short Stories Edited Book The Indian short story is not merely a derivative of the Western genre, but owes much to the great story-telling tradition of Indian antiquity. At the risk of a certain amount of over-generalization it seems safe to say that Clear Light of Day marks, if not a complete, at least a significant thematic break in Desai's writing.
The variegated and unbeaten genre righteously deserves critical attention which it has been deprived of. With a few exceptions here and there, however, the interest by the western academy in Desai's work post Clear Light of Day has not extended back to her earlier output.
Anita Desai's critical and academic history perhaps is the best entryway into this issue. The reworking of myth by Mahasweta Devi, the nature lore of Ruskin Bond, the saga of exile by the Kashmiri Pandits, the satire of Hari Shankar Parsai, the macabre tales of Satyajit Ray, the problematics of identity in Manoj Das and memory in Temsula Ao—all are taken into consideration within the structure of a single volume to make this a stimulating overview for students and scholars of Indian literature.
It became evident by the end of the past century that the canon is attuned to Indian landscape whose heterogeneous people and their diverse experiences it reflects so faithfully.
The names of certain writers recur so often in course descriptions and in the titles of journal articles, conference papers and book chapters that lay readers might be forgiven for thinking that other writers, if they are available, must not be worth reading.
In accord with the genre itself, the scope of the book allows for such diversity as the classic writers like Tagore and Manto; the feminist writers like Ismat Chughtai, Kamala Das, Shashi Deshpande and Indira Goswami; the dalit writers like Bama and Ajay Navaria; the diaspora writers like Bharati Mukherjee and Jhumpa Lahiri.
These similarities, I would further argue, are emblematic of the ways in which Indian Women's Literature as an academic category has come to be defined.
Such an engagement itself requires from critics a parallel engagement of their own with issues more locally situated than those that structure the emerging canon of Indian literature in general, and in particular the construction of an idea of Indian women's literature.
Beginning towards the end of the nineteenth century, the Indian short story flourished in the twentieth century. While her international fame rests on her output in the s she had in fact published five novels before Clear Light of Day.