Introduction by Meena Alexander
Here we meet Muniyakka, called “walkie-talkie” because she mutters to herself; Shakun, the dollmaker, an exploited artist who needs to feel that others depend on her; and Jashoda, professional mother to children of the rich, from Mahasveta Devi’s acknowledged masterpiece “The Wet Nurse.”
First published in 1986, this rich collection presents the work of some of India's most skillful contemporary writers, carefully selected from seven of the country's major regional languages. Although each writer is celebrated in her own language, many of the stories are presented here in English for the first time. The authors included are: Mahasveta Devi (Bengali), Ila Mehta (Gujarati), Suniti Aphaie (Marathi), Mrinal Pande (Hindi), Lakshmi Kannan (Tamil), Ismat Chughtai (Urdu), and Vishwapriya Iyengar (English).
"Truth Tales invites us to a feast of rich and varied literature. These stories are riveting, witty, moving, and a wonderful gift to the consciousness: they illumine Indian women's lives and also, across distance and culture, enable us to recognize ourselves. Bravo to the writers, the translators, and The Feminist Press!"
"This collection of stories—intense, vivid, and varied—ring like truth masquerading as fiction, as the title of the anthology suggests. Although they tell us of suffering, they do not reduce the female protagonists to docile victims, as Indian women are portrayed in colonial fiction. These authentic, unpasteurized, searing stories should bring American readers closer to understanding the conception of power and autonomy in Indian women's tales."
“. . . these stories cull the essence of women’s experiences: the power, the passion, the pain, the hopelessness, the fury, the joy. . . . Together, through the texture of their stories and the tone and timbre of their voices, all of [these authors] communicate the vibrancy of women’s writing today.”