What Do I Read Next?
Quest for Kim: In Search of Kipling’s Great Game (1999) is a historical analysis written by Peter Hopkirk. Hopkirk explores the real history of the Great Game, which was Britain’s quest to map the entire Indian subcontinent in an effort to control the region as well as to keep it out of the hands of the Russians. His specific focus is on the real people upon whom Kipling based many of his characters, such as Muhbub Ali, Lurgan Sahib, and Colonel Creighton.
Midnight’s Children, first published in 1980 and awarded the Booker Prize in 1981, is Salman Rushdie’s complex, brilliant novel that uses magical realism to explore the sociological and political issues created in newly independent, postcolonial India. Rushdie, who is a Muslim Indian, is one of the most important writers from India today.
Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness was published one year after Kim, in 1902, and is set in colonial Africa. Conrad’s writing style is markedly different from Kipling’s, and Heart of Darkness remains a classic of English literature. It is a good example of writing on imperialist themes contemporary with Kim.
A Passage to India, a novel by English writer E. M. Forster was first published in 1924 when India was still a part of the British Empire. The novel, although written from a distinctly British colonial point of view, explores the controversies surrounding relationships between the different races. It offers another comparable version of India through colonial eyes.
Orientalism, a work of criticism by the postcolonial theorist Edward Said, first published in 1978, is a seminal criticism of British imperialism and its aftermath. In particular, Said concentrates on the use of literature by Victorian Britain to promote colonization and the exploitation and oppression of other races.