John Thieme on Text and Context in Postcolonial/Colonial Writings
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Professor John Thieme is a Senior Fellow at the University of East Anglia, UK. He has held Chairs at the University of Hull and London South Bank University and has also taught at the Universities of Guyana, North London and, as an annual Visiting Professor, at the University of Turin. His books include The Web of Tradition: Uses of Allusion in V.S. Naipaul’s Fiction (1987), The Arnold Anthology of Post-Colonial Literatures in English (1996), Derek Walcott (1999), Post-Colonial Con-Texts: Writing Back to the Canon (2001), Post-Colonial Studies: The Essential Glossary (2003) and R.K. Narayan (2007). He was Editor of The Journal of Commonwealth Literature from 1992 to 2011 and he is General Editor of the Manchester University Press Contemporary World Writers Series. His book Postcolonial Literary Geographies: Out of Place has just been published by Macmillan Palgrave. As a critic, Thieme knows the value of the afterlife of iconic texts and how they can be sites of contested readings. As a person, he comes across as positive, accessible and friendly, rare with well-known personalities. He talks of many intersecting issues in this long e-mail interview with Mumbai-based writer Sunil Sharma.