Author: Cornelia Sorabji
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195649745
This autobiographical piece is a significant contribution to Indian women's studies, and traces the author's self-development, and depicts the status and lifestyle of orthodox Hindu women, to the amelioration of whose legal and personal status she dedicated herself.
Born into a Parsee family in Nasik in the Bombay Presidency in 1866, Cornelia Sorabji's identity was shaped by three streams of cultural influences - the British, the Indian and the Parsee. Sorabji was India's first woman barrister. This is her autobiography from early childhood to adulthood. Written with a radically feminist perspectives, it traces the author' self-development.
This is an immensely readable book, full of wry humor. At the same time addressing as it does a turbulent period of British rule in India, it deals with issues of colonialism, and questions of identity arising out of a complex racial, religious and cultural hybridity.
The introduction and Notes by Chandani Lokuge provide a critical commentary on Sorabji's westernized Parsee-British outlook towards imperialism, Christianity and Hindu society This is the third book of a series of early writings in English by Indian women which include 'Kamala' and 'Saguna'.
This autobiographical piece is a significant contribution to Indian women studies, and will be welcomed by general readers as well as scholars of literature.
CHANDANI LOKUGE is a lecturer and visiting research scholar in the English Department, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia. She is the author of the novel 'If the Moon Smiled', and 'Moth and Other Stories'.