What do literary narratives have to do with resource extraction? Quite a lot, according to Stacey Balkan. In her book, Rogues in the Postcolony: Narrating Extraction and Itinerancy in India, Balkan challenges developmentalist narratives pushed by industry through an examination of Anglophone Indian picaresque novels, or “rogue” tales. Looking to novels by writers such as Amitav Ghosh, Indra Sinha, and Aravind Adiga, Balkan reveals startling connections between landscape ideology, agricultural improvement, extractive capitalism, and aesthetic expression in British-occupied Bengal, 1980s Bhopal, and the coal-soaked terrain of contemporary Dhanbad.
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