Deimantas Valančiūnas



The emerging literary field of speculative and fantasy fiction in India has opened up possibilities for literature to address and rethink in new forms the issues of history, nationalism, and identity, as well as to engage critically with (often tabooed) topics of gender and sexuality. Many of these concerns are explored in the novel The Devourers (2015) by Indra Das. The Devourers is a Gothic horror story about shape-shifting monsters (werewolves), their lives and love-affairs in India through the span of several hundred years. While strategically situating the narrative in some of the most important historical periods of Indian history (the Mughal Empire, the British Raj, neoliberal contemporary India), the novel also carefully incorporates the notions of foreignness, monstrosity, sexual fluidity, colonial memory and hybridity in order to forge out a critical commentary on contemporary India. Therefore, taking into account novel’s concerns and major topics I argue that The Devourers employs the imagery of a werewolf monster in order to comment on a current socio-political climate of India and its cultural anxieties concerning sexual and national identities, and to present an alternative version of Indian identity.


KEYWORDS: hybridity, Indian Gothic, werewolves, colonialism, sexuality

DOI: 10.30395/WSR.202306_16(2).0003

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