Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka: the sovereign nation-states of present-day South Asia encompass huge diversities, but one of the key elements they have in common is the fact that the majority of the population of this region lives in villages even today. Anupama Mohan has written a lively book with a focus on the utopian imaginative mode and the representation of the village in South Asian literatures, which she selects from two countries, India and Sri Lanka. With the exception of M. K. Gandhi's polemical treatise Hind Swaraj, Mohan's texts of choice are novels. These novels are written in English, as well as in some bhasha or vernacular languages (that she reads in translation) of the region, notably Malayalam and Sinhalese. Focusing on literary texts published between 1909 and 2005, Mohan's monograph opens up exciting terrain.

Theoretically, the monograph grounds itself in Michel...

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