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Challenging Gender and Genre: Women in Contemporary Indian Crime Fiction in English

  • Neele Meyer EMAIL logo


This paper looks at three Indian crime fiction series by women writers who employ different types of female detectives in contemporary India. The series will be discussed in the context of India’s economic growth and the emergence of a new middle class, which has an impact on India’s complex publishing market. I argue that the authors offer new identification figures while depicting a wide spectrum of female experiences within India’s contemporary urban middle class. In accordance with the characteristics of popular fiction, crime fiction offers the possibility to assume new roles within the familiar framework of a specific genre. Writers also partly modify the genre as a form of social criticism and use strategies such as the avoidance of closure. I conclude that the genre is of particular suitability for women in modern India as a testing-ground for new roles and a space that helps to depict and accommodate recent transformations that connect to processes of globalization.

Corresponding author: Dr. des. Neele Meyer, DFG Research Training Group “Globalization and Literature: Representations, Transformations, Interventions”, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Schellingstraße 33, 80799 Munich, Germany

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Published Online: 2018-3-10
Published in Print: 2018-3-28

©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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