Tense Past, Tense Present - Women Writing in English

Tense Past, Tense Present - Women Writing in English

Product ID: 11294

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Author: Joel Kuortti
Publisher: Stree
Year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 235
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8185604584


Interviewing seven women writers, Shashi Desphande, Shama Futehally, Githa Hariharan, Anuradha Marwah Roy, Mina Singh, Lakshmi Kannan and Anna Sujatha Mathai, this volume also presents extracts from their writings. Aware of the changing status of English and of Women writers within Indian, the author ably analyses this new cultural phenomenon.

When you are trying to find a way out of the silence, you need words. I have this feeling when reading India women writers that they are as Rushdie puts it, re-shaping English-so that women could talk about what is never said. Thus Kuortti interviews Shashi Deshpande, trying to ascertain why women write and why they write in English. Writing in English cannot be neutral. As a colony, the language was inescapably associated with class, race and power; and independence it has grown in power and status, yet the problematic of English as the language of the hegemonic West remains. Even so, a new canon of women writing in English is being formed.

Women writing in English in India do not form a coherent group. They come from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and do not share a single vision of India.

Kuortti elicits intriguing responses on why they choose to write in English, their views on the diasporic writings of Indians and the regional languages. They speak fankly about the women’s movement and all assert that they support many of the goals of feminist.


Introduction by Joel Kuortti

From Small Remedies
Women Are Moving: Years of Silence Came to an End

Waking Up
Women Will Find Ways of Breaking Out

On the Way to Paradise
The Double Burden: Continual Contesting of Tradition and Modernity

The Exiles Drohis: Hameeda’s Story
Stories Can Never Be Told to the End Completely

From A Partial Woman
The Past Is This Wonderful Creation

Eight Poems
I Could Never Stop Writing Poems

Eight Poems
Because to the Unbearable Pain