On a request from the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Professor Shiv K. Kumar gave a silver jubilee lecture at the Himachal Pradesh University in 1991, the silver jubilee year of the Institute. At the same time, he agreed to come to the Institute as a Visiting Professor and gave three lectures. All these four lectures related to contemporary Indian literary in English: poetry, short story, novel, and literary creation and criticism. It was decided to publish them together.
Professor Kumar has brought his creative sensibility and critical acumen to bear upon a vast field of great importance to millions of his contemporaries in India and abroad. His treatment of Indian literature in English is sensitive and incisive. It is marked by a rare economy of words. Consequently this short book reads like a long poem.
I feel embarrassed to find this ‘thing of beauty’ dedicated to me. But Professor Shiv K. Kumar has exercised a right which cannot be denied to him.
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