I wish to thank my colleagues at the School of English, La Trobe University, for their patience and support, and Elizabeth Weiss and others at Allen & Unwin for their advice and enthusiasm. Thanks also to Dipesh Chakrabarty who gave me access to his work and helped to shape ideas, to David Lloyd whose writing, likewise, offered crucial insights into the 'problem' of anti-colonial nationalisms, and to Ruth Vanita whose polemical and stimulating resistance to the claims of postcolonial theory finds utterance in the 'critique' aspect of this book.
I have gained enormously from conversations with Marion Campbell, Joanne Finkelstein, Raju Pandey and Sanjay Seth, who were generous with their time and friendship. To Bronte Adams I owe profound thanks for her reservoir of faith and encouragement; she brought, as always, both pleasure and perspective to the activity of reading and writing.
My greatest debt is to Pauline Nestor, who read through this manuscript and its drafts with care and patience. I learnt much from her editorial and critical interventions, and her hospitality and support considerably eased the rough passage of this book.