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Women Writing in India, Volume II
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SUSIE THARU teaches English literature at the Central Institute for English and foreign languages in Hyderabad.

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Women Writing in India, Volume II

The Twentieth Century
Susie Tharu

Edited by Susie Tharu and K. Lalita

These ground-breaking collections offer 200 texts from eleven 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 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 seventy-three 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 and responses to society, politics, desire, marriage, procreation, aging, and death.

"This splendid anthology makes visible for the first time the contours of a veritable subcontinent of women writing. The selections are wise and revealing; the introduction, meticulous and seminal. It should establish once and for all that in the study of Indian cultural history the importance of gender, far from being marginal, is profoundly structural."

—C.M. Naim, associate professor of Urdu and chair, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago

"A book that is revolutionary and presents a view of Indian life and history never coherently put together before and which it will be impossible ever again to ignore. It will be considered a landmark."

—Anita Desai, New York Review of Books

"Susie Tharu and K. Lalita have given the English-speaking world a special gift by compiling this marvelously rich, intelligent collection. . . . Tharu and Lalita offer brilliant interpretations of how Western historians have read the history of India either as an allegory of 'Western man's soul' or translated into 'something that was accessible, familiar, and above all structured for intervention and control.' Tharu and Lalita also show how women's literature around the world has until now been largely understood through the narrow Euro-American lens."

—Carol Ascher, New Directions of Women

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