Book Review : Women Writing in India-Volume II


The book - Women writing in India - Volume II Edited by Susie Tharu and K. Lalitha, is like a Time Machine which will take you back in time and show you the life of women in those days. It brings out the conditions in which women wrote very beautifully. This book is a masterpiece collection of some wonderful women writers in various languages of India. Each story and poem shows a new shade of the society during that time. 

Publishers: Pandora – An imprint of Harper Collins
ISBN # 0-004-440874-9
Price: £ 16.99.

Behind the Book

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One of the reviews published behind the book describes the book aptly:

When you read the riches within these covers you will know that a western male bias has left all of us culturally deprived. No library or school or caring reader should be without this volume.’ – Gloria Steinem

About the Authors

Susie Tharu teaches in the Department of English Literature at the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages in Hyderabad. K. Lalitha  is a political scientist and coordinator of Anveshi, Centre for Women's studies, Hyderabad.

'Me' Thinks

In today’s world we are so used to our freedom that it won’t be wrong if I say we take it for granted. Being born and brought up in a democratic country, “freedom of speech” is something we all assume to be our birth right. We write what we think and declare our views to the world through various forums like face book, twitter, blogs etc. But have you ever imagined a scenario where you could not express your thoughts for the fear of being shunned? The thought itself send a shudder down your spine doesn’t it? This is the kind of India our great grandmothers and grandmothers have lived in. A glimpse into those days is what this book promises you.

Flipping through the pages each and every word touch you somewhere deep down stirring different emotions in you starting from joy to disappointment. Joy to see the creativity of women who were practically deprived of any sort of exposure, but still they wrote from all that they saw and maybe they went through. Disappointment on seeing the condition of women in those days as many of them had to hide their writing and that too not for sometime but for their lifetime. There are some authors mentioned in this book whose work has been published posthumously when their next generation found it.  It tugs your heart to see the kind of future they had envisaged for their next generation. Though many things mentioned there are still rampant even today but I am sure each one of us would consider ourselves lucky to be born in a free world where we don’t face such things.
It is very difficult to select one favorite story or poem from this entire collection as each one is like a beautiful pearl adorning a priceless necklace. The cherry on the icing would be the dedication;

                                           ‘For all the writers we have not been able to include
                                                     For the many we do not yet know

Before reading this book word of caution from my end to you would be - reading this book will leave you with a tear in your eye, smile on your lips, pride in your heart and a thought in your mind. Over all, a wonderful book to know the history of women in India which will make you embark on a journey of self discovery.

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