Women Writing in India: 600 BC to the Present: The 20th Century v. 2

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9780044408741: Women Writing in India: 600 BC to the Present: The 20th Century v. 2

These ground-breaking collections offer 200 texts from 11 languages, never before available in English or as a collection, along with a new reading of cultural history that draws on contemporary scholarship on women and on India. This extraordinary body of literature and important documentary resource illuminates the lives of Indian women through 2,600 years of change and extends the historical understanding of literature, feminism, and the making of modern India. The biographical, critical, and bibliographical headnotes in both volumes, supported by an introduction which Anita Desai describes as “intellectually rigorous, challenging, and analytical,” place the writers and their selections within the context of Indian culture and history.

Volume II: The Twentieth Century features poetry, fiction, drama, and autobiography by 73 writers born after 1905, some widely appreciated in their own time, others neglected or ignored. These works bring into the scope of literary discussion a whole new range of women’s experiences in and responses to society, politics, desire, marriage, procreation, aging, and death.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Thorough and challenging, this collection of fiction, poetry, drama and autobiography examines both continuities and departures in the writing of India's expanding class of women of letters during the period 1905 to present. The editors also provide extensive background on this century's literary movements and political and social upheavals and developments and their impact on the evolution of the emerging Indian feminist literary voice. Hajira Shakoor's tale charts the recent changes in families that have resulted from the spread of ideas through the mass media, particularly movies. Women's yearning for growth as a part of and counterpart to India's flowering as an independent nation-state is demonstrated in a chapter from a novel by Kundanika Kapadia in which a young wife dreams of transcending the traditional barriers of distrust that divide her from her husband's aunt, who lives with the young couple. However, the plight of Indian women is succinctly stated by a character in a short story by Veena Shanteshwar: "Our country has been free . . . yet we find ourselves bound in slavery. The causes: 25% tradition, another 25% circumstances, and the remaining 50% men."
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This remarkable second volume includes over 140 representative autobiographies, dramas, poems, and short stories from 73 writers born after 1905, along with well-researched criticism, biographies, bibliographies, and helpful glosses. (The exceptionally perceptive editors were assisted by 12 regional editors.) After overcoming unusual text-location difficulties, editors Tharu and Lalita also surmounted stereotypical cultural/political/conceptual attitudes and judgments. Like Volume 1 ( LJ 5/15/91), Volume 2 is a treasure-trove, a triumphant achievement that is long overdue and vitally needed to give women writers their rightful place in India's rich literary history.
- Glenn O. Carey, Eastern Kentucky Univ., Richmond
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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