The writing of a book, an intensely solitary activity for the most part,
cannot come to pass without the support and help of many generous
friends, colleagues, and relatives. This book, the seeds of which were
sowed during a dissertation written in 1990, is deeply indebted to the
work of leading and emerging scholars in the field of postcolonial studies.
I am even more grateful to those who either read all or parts of the manu-
script and to those who responded to my work presented at conferences
and talks: Jenny Sharpe, Carla Peterson, Peter Hulme, Jose Rabasa, Mus-
tapha Pasha, Martha Smith, Marilee Lindemann, Robert Levine, R. Rad-
hakrishnan, Merle Collins, Marshall Grossman, Beth Loizeaux, Susan
Leonardi, Linda Kauffman, Malini Schueller, Caryl Flinn, Deirdre Da-
vid, Kathleen Blake, and Susan Jeffords. The chapter on Bankim and Ta-
gore could not have been written without the intellectual support of
Henry Schwarz. His unceasing generosity, whether it was providing yet
another bibliographic reference, actually procuring hard-to-obtain mate-
rial, or gently reminding me of that which needed to be said, remains un-
matched. I thank Liz Deloughrey, Crystal Parikh, Virginia Bell, Mona
Shah, Eleanor Shevlin, John Fisher, Sharon Groves, Kevin Meehan, Kim-
berley Brown, Rodrigo Lazo, Rob Doggett, and Nels Pearson for many
stimulating discussions on issues of gender and nation around a desk or
over a glass of wine.
I am indebted to Purnima Bose and an anonymous reader for Duke
University Press for their especially generous and detailed critical assess-
ment of the manuscript. No writer of a first book could have hoped for a
better editor than Ken Wissoker, whose enthusiasm and belief in the proj-
ect was highly infectious. This book owes a great deal to his finely honed
editorial skills.
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