Cover: Forget English!: Orientalisms and World Literatures, from Harvard University PressCover: Forget English! in PAPERBACK

Forget English!

Orientalisms and World Literatures

Add to Cart

Product Details


$30.00 • £24.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674986893

Publication Date: 08/20/2018


304 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

1 halftone


Mufti’s historical perspective and insightful analyses of India’s anglophone novel generate constant echoes with the realities of anglophone writings in other cultures.—Eva Shan Chou, Times Higher Education

Mufti’s book is in one sense a quarrel with Salman Rushdie’s overly enthusiastic celebration of English-language ‘postcolonial’ South Asian literature, but more important, the book extends, qualifies, and enriches Edward Said’s work on Orientalism, demonstrating that despite its promise, world literature does not eliminate the dominant role of the Anglophone book market in shaping South Asian literature. Nested within this persuasive argument is a rich commentary on major topics ranging from translation and unfaithful fidelity to philologist Erich Auerbach, Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali, novelist Tayeb Salih (who wrote in Arabic), and a dozen others. Mufti’s book is both accessible and theoretically informed.—K. Tölölyan, Choice

A must read for anyone who is considering and exploring the idea of world literature.—Orhan Pamuk, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and author of The Naive and Sentimental Novelist

An intelligently written, fascinating book about a theme of great importance to all scholars of language and literature.—Nuruddin Farah, winner of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and author of Maps

Aamir Mufti brilliantly elaborates Edward Said’s critical itinerary to confront the contrapuntal and contradictory nature of neo-liberal capitalism while questioning the disciplinary claims of world literature. Forget English! is a bracing riposte to the frothy fellowship of cultural globalistas who believe that ‘the earth is flat’ and take the ubiquitous access to Starbucks as a sign of global prosperity and well-being. I warmly recommend Forget English! for its critical insight and its political commitment.—Homi Bhabha, author of The Location of Culture

Written with Aamir Mufti’s distinctive blend of rigor and clarity, Forget English! discusses the politics of world literature from the perspective of the rise of English as a global language—or global English as a mode of imperialism by other means. This is a vital contribution at the intersection of postcolonial, comparative, and world literary studies.—David Damrosch, author of We Scholars: Changing the Culture of the University

Forget English! is a book that won’t allow us to forget that the globalized humanities curriculum—dispatched from Euro-America to the world at large in the guise of a user-friendly World Literature—affords a highly problematic example of what Aamir Mufti calls ‘one-world thinking.’—Emily Apter, author of Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

logo of the MacArthur Foundation

Nicole Fleetwood and Monica Muñoz Martinez Awarded MacArthur Fellowships

Harvard University Press congratulates its authors Nicole Fleetwood and Monica Muñoz Martinez for being named to the 2021 class of 25 MacArthur Fellows. The prestigious no-strings-attached $625,000 awards are given to individuals “who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”