CONTEMPORARY INDIAN ENGLISH POETRY FROM HIMACHAL/P.C.K. Prem
“If the business of all serious literatures is the criticism of life, guided by the laws of poetic truth and poetic beauty, then P.C.K. Prem eminently qualifies to be hailed as one, who seriously tries to delve into the web of human relationships with almost Lawrentian intensity. Throughout in the narrative, one encounters the currents and cross-currents which inevitably surface when certain relationships come under the close scrutiny of a sensitive writer like P.C.K. Prem. One is simply impressed with his Swiftian perceptions into human nature, where at times, it appears that the things are beyond redemption. But he is too shrewed a writer to be swayed by social, political and moral anarchy that he finds present all around. He manages the narrative to go on its own strength with surprising rapidity seeking its life and sustenance from its own tensions and architectonic build-up and thus, he is able to recreate and reaffirm the basic goodness in human beings which would ever triumph, the temporary setbacks notwithstanding.
“To manage a novel on such a subject and content with colour and life and all pervading sarcasm, is indeed a remarkable achievement. P.C.K. Prem not only finely knits together different strands but also “goes back and back” in the past of characters to build a mighty structure, to put a girdle round the world. He is, however, at his best in crisp dialogues, meaningful descriptions and insightful observations. Every detail or remark adds to the telling of the story or unravelling some facets of characters.” (jacket)
A Handsome Man : A Novel/P.C.K. Prem.
“It is a brilliant novel embodying ethos of modern India, an attempt to catch the spirit of the age. Before the Independence of the country, there was a spontaneous upsurge of patriotic enthusiasm and fervour, a keenness to realise the dream of Ramrajya, of prosperity and justice for all and uplift of the poor. However, the dreams seem to vanish away in the post-independence era, as self-interest dominates, corruption spreads, rat-race for getting easy money grows, and in the process familial relations shrink and get dried up. “It is a serious work of literary art characterised by historical overtones and vast sweep. It deepens our understanding about the drift of modern times where human relations and values are the first casualty. “A remarkable work which embodies the growing dilemmas and inner contradictions of the modern man. It should interest the general readers as also those belonging to the categories of characters in this work.” (jacket)