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Violence, Subversion and Recovery: Women Writers from the Sub-continent and Around


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The problematic of reading women in the context of violence is very complicated. Studying violence or theorising violence might be an impossibility, but at the same time, studying violence through the question of woman and her body, woman minus her body and the discourse of woman as a singular entity, just as a human being is possible. It cannot be denied that woman is often refused her status of being looked at as simple as a human being minus all other identities or social conditions. One tends to wonder about what methodologies could justify the woman question with respect to violence. Is there a methodology at all?

One even wishes that a complication of concepts such as liberation, emancipation or empowerment vis-à-vis a woman be addressed on a linear scale. We call these keywords as concepts as they are far removed from practical reality. Is a woman ever liberated or emancipated or even empowered? Does the discourse of domesticity or body not touch the so-called empowered woman? Is she ever received as a singular entity of just being a human’?

The need is to examine a woman’s life on a wider scale by employing inclusive framework, to bring normality into focus by refuting the stereotypes of womanhood. This becomes more problematic when it is read on an extended concern with violence. The discourse is reduced to body alone. How do we attempt to read the woman, in this context, beyond its dimensions of body?

This book is an attempt to read womanhood as humanhood. The articulation, self or otherwise, is through the context of violence. The experiences are those of the subject or as the ‘objectified’ in doing so. The attempt has been to shatter the glass ceiling, break boundaries to articulate silence. The narratives tear open the suppressed and refute the conventional way of writing / narrating history.


Contents –

Section I: Critical Essays
1. Reading Bapsi Sidhwa: Revisiting a Traumatic Moment in Historical Time – Sridhar Rajeswaran
2. Dravidian Feminism and the Case of South India – Krishna K. Manavalli
3. Remembering Violence and Trauma: A Study of Nandita Das’s Firaaq – Nishat Haider
4. Behaya: Female Sex Stories from Bangladesh – Kathryn Hummel
5. The Politics of Rhetoric: Remembering and Re-narrating ‘Bodily Resistances’ in Rabijita Gogoi’s Plays – Namrata Pathak
6. Shattered Lives, Shattered Dreams: A Study of Arupa Patangia Kalita’s Arunima’s Motherland and The Cursed Fields of Golden Rice – Hemraj Bansal
7. Aporetic Portrayal of Kashmir and its Women in Manisha Sobhrajani’s The Land I Dream of: The Story of Kashmir’s Women – Khemraj Sharma
8. Ethnic Discrimination, Political Violence and Hybrid Identity: The Complex Literary World of Jean Arasnayagam’s Poetry – Zakia Firdaus
9. Writing Women’s Experiences of Pakistani Survivors: An Interview of Anam Zakaria – Ammara Ahmad
10. An Emerging Light from Darkness: Interview with Kalpana Gagdekar – Ishmeet Kaur Chaudhry
Section II: Poetry
I-1. The Song of Liberty – Nandini Sahu
I-2. Hand in Hand – Nandini Sahu
I-3. Bridge in Making – Nandini Sahu
I-4. Many Lands, Many Homes – Nandini Sahu
II-1. The Mob – My Impressions – Anjali Mandala
III-1. The Denial – Rachel Bari
III-2. Cruel Muse – Rachel Bari
III-3. Riots – Rachel Bari
III-4. Words – Rachel Bari
III-5. Ears and Toes – Rachel Bari
III-6. Temptress – Rachel Bari
IV-1. Calling across Horizons – Shikha Rai
IV-2. A Woman’s Sin – Shikha Rai
V-1. Gateway to Heaven Number 27 – Ishmeet Kaur Chaudhry
V-2. To My Mother – Ishmeet Kaur Chaudhry
V-3. The Sukanya Series of Poems – Ishmeet Kaur Chaudhry
VI-1. In a Corner – Shelly Bhoil
VI-2. Matrimony – Shelly Bhoil
VI-3. The Denial of Words – Shelly Bhoil
VI-4. Letter to Fellow Women – Shelly Bhoil
VII-1. The Riot – Charanjeet Kaur
VII-2. The Doormat – Charanjeet Kaur
VII-3. She – Charanjeet Kaur
VII-4. Mirror Image – Charanjeet Kaur
VIII-1. Wom-‘b’-anhood? – Tejoswita Saikia
Section III: Short Stories
I-1. Woman – Urmi Rahman
II-2. The Beautiful Ratio – Shweta Rao Garg
III-3. Death before Life – Indira Nityanandam
IV-4. Mayhem or Mania Indira Nityanandam
V-5. A Day after the Storm – Ishmeet Kaur
VI-6. The Victims – Parvathi Aithal
VII-7. Ilaa: The Legend of Paithan – Kiran S.N.
VIII-8. If I Have to Tell You a Story… – Tejoswita Saikia
IX-9. Levels of Predation – Anandi Lakshminathan
X-10. Obscenity – Rachel Bari
List of Contributors


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Ishmeet Kaur Chaudhry,

Rachel Bari


Himalaya pub