Gender, Space and Creative Imagination is about contemporary women’s writing in the India and its experiential, ideological and representational topography. It offers a nuanced critique of the gender- space dialectics that underlines and often engages the attention of women writers in this country.
By critically examining the selected works of Krishna Sobti, Mahasweta Devi, Kamal Desai, Ambai and Githa Hariharan, this book puts in perspective the vibrant heterogeneity of their creative corpus and its attendance concerns. Reading afresh these narratives as empowering aesthetic and discursive endeavours that consciously remap women’s gendered reality’s this book helps to unravel Indian Women writing’s aesthetics of creation, critique ad conditioning, and simultaneously puts into perspective its activist shift from re-presentation to self presentation.
Rekha is Professor of English at the Department of Humanities, DCR University of Science & Technology, Murthal, Haryana. She has co-authored, with Anup Beniwal, Arun Joshi; An Enigma of Existence (2010), and contributes regularly to various national and international research journals. Her areas of interest include contemporary Indian women’s writing, culture and communication studies. Currently she is working on the folk and cultural narratives of the festival of Sanjhi.
This is a book about gender, and gendered time and spaces. As entrenched realities of women’s life – lived, thought and ‘read’ – the problematics of gender and space have constantly engaged my attention. The writers that I read, and some of whom I have chosen here for critical engagement, have often offered me vicarious peeps into the lives of others like me. They have been me imagination co – sojourners in this identity, ‘making, unmaking and remaking’ it through gendered landscapes. They have helped me engage with gender-truths for forge a critical stance to negotiate their reality. I wish to thank them all for helping me forge strategies of empowered reading and share in their imaginative – discursive camaraderie.
Traversing through this imaginative terrain, I have often realized that no journey is a solitary pursuit. All journeys, of necessity, involve transcending the limits of the self and beings with others, even if for a fleeting moment.
The present journey is no exception. While the stories I read offered me my imaginative sojourns, the friends who were privy to my critical-intellectual journey dug into their academic and experiential repertoire to equip me with the resources to tackle the difficulties on this ‘critical path’. I am especially beholden to my teachers and friends and friends from academia whose enlightened guidance did not let me trip on the way that was often slippery. But for their timely insights I would have been lost in the intractable theoretical lanes and by-lances, while on this journey.
This book is a result of the support that my family members made available for me. It is fructification of their hopes and inspiration. Anup, my trenchant critic but trusted sojourner, was always there to goad me on my way to the finish.
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