Degree Name

Master of Arts (Hons.)


Faculty of Arts


The key words in the title of the thesis are problematic and need to be defined at the outset. Humour, which is ordinarily conflated with comedy, satire, irony and its various other forms, presents problems of terminology. The adjectives 'Indian' and 'women' used to qualify the writers, also present some difficulties. Before launching into a discussion of humour and the artistic modes and genres one associates with it, it is important to address the question of the credentials of 'Indianness' of the three writers. Gokhale (b. 1956) author of Paro Dreams of Passion, started out as a journalist who still lives and works in India. Roy (b. 1961) the Booker prize-winning author of The God of Small Things, is touted as a 'home-grown' who has neither studied nor lived abroad. Namjoshi (b. 1941) has lived abroad, and taught English literature in Canada and now works in the U.K. However, her themes and inspirations are as 'Indian' as those of Anita Desai, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala or Shashi Deshpande. She belongs within the category of diasporic Indian writers and attributes some of her textual tactics to India. Namjoshi wrote 'The Conversations of Cow' in Canada and is included in books of literary criticism (Naik & Narayan, 2001) as a diasporic writer of Indian origin.