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Alexander Raju
Alexander Raju
Allegorical Fiction Writer

Books by Alexander Raju

The Haunted Man: A Novel
by Alexander Raju

©2009

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The Haunted Man: A Novel

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely; this is true under dictatorship, totalitarianism and fundamentalism, and democracy as well. Slavery, bondage, suppression and discrimination follow when absolute power corrupts. Perhaps, an Abraham Lincoln could legally put an end to the physical slavery, but its manifestation in various other forms related to race, including color and caste, culture, language, religion, nationality and political system remains a threat to manís spirit of freedom. The nineteen month-long Emergency declared in India in 1975 would be relatively an insignificant event in the political history of the worldís largest democracy. But, when The Haunted Man, allegorically presents the agony of the people, gasping for breath under its heavy yoke, the subject gains universality. Through dozens of symbolic episodes and references picked up from the world of literature-scape, Alexander Rajuís novel unravels the severity of such physical and psychological suppressions of the helpless masses and, thereby, not only creates awareness among freedom-loving peoples but also tenders a warning to the whole world.


About the Author

Born on April 1st, 1952, in Kerala State of India, Alexander Raju studied in St. Peterís Primary School, Vazhoor, St. Paulís High School, Vazhoor, St. Dominicís College, Kanjirappally and Baselius College, Kottayam. He began his career as a freelance journalist as early as 1974, after completing his higher studies in the Universities of Kerala and Saugar, Madhya Pradesh. Touring almost every nook and corner of India, he acquired a firsthand knowledge of the Indian ways of life among various ethnic groups who differed totally in their culture, religion and language. When Sikkim became the twenty-second State of India, he joined the staff of Sikkim Express as one of its sub-editors and later became the editor of Bullet, a newsweekly published from Gangtok. He was one among the three-member team that launched Dainik Aawaz, the first Nepali News-daily of India.
Returning to his native state of Kerala, he worked as a lawyer for a short while. In 1981, he joined the faculty of English at Baselius College, Kottayam, his own alma mater, as a lecturer. Since 1990, he has been serving as a registered Research Guide in Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India. Currently he is Professor of English in Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia.
Alexander Raju, an Indian English critic, poet, novelist and short story writer, has many books to his credit. Ripples and Pebbles (1989), Sprouts of Indignation (2003) and Magic Chasm (2007) are collections of his poems. His first novel The Haunted Man came out in 1997. Candles on the Altar (1985) and Many Faces of Adam (1991) are collections of his short stories. The Psycho-Social Interface in British Fiction (2000) is a critical work.


Reviews

"The theme of the wanderer is not an uncommon one in various literatures of the world, and it is even found in music. This novel depicting the wanderings of a haunted man is unusual, however, in a number of ways. Told through a number of striking episodes containing pieces of powerful writing, it is more than apparent on the surface, for its aim would appear to be to reflect through somewhat horrific incidents a dark, though relatively brief, period of modern history. Literary allusions are many, particularly, and not inappropriately, to Samuel Butlerís Erewhon. Not all of these will be immediately understood by all readers, but it is by no means necessary to recognize them all to follow the direction of the narrative and to appreciate its symbolism."
Ė Professor Ronald E. Asher, Department of Linguistics, Edinburgh University, U. K.

"To his symbolic portrait of the Emergency, Alexander Raju has attempted to give a thick coating of the venom of anger and horror and a thinner one of underlying comedy and satire. The dreams (of the Wanderer) are like the swings of a palanquin from one aspect of Emergency to another, from dream to reality and back Ė but steadily moving on towards a psychic reorientation of the dreamer. This is symbolized in the different tones of the music heard on the course of this psychic journey."
Ė Professor O.P. Mathur, Banares Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh, India

"The significance of The Haunted Man, the novel that debunks the craze for power, is that it is the document of an attitude. Belated or not, Alexander Rajuís indictment is piercingly sharp, so it cannot miss the target." (From the Foreword to Magic Chasm)
Ė Dr. B. Keralavarma, Maharajaís College, Kerala, India


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