Sawnet - Bookshelf -
The prolific Shivani was born in 1923 in Saurashtra, and continued writing
until her death. She studied at Santiniketan between 1935 and 1943,
and since then had considered Rabindranath Tagore one of her
major influences. At Santiniketan she developed an interest in
drama, and soon started writing fiction. Her first published story
was written in Bengali, but the majority of her writing has been
in Hindi. She is also fluent in Gujarati, Sanskrit and English.
"Shivani's fiction proclaims a quiet, warm humanism. Characters who
might seem pale and uninteresting in real life -- an undistinguished,
very orthodox Brahmin priest in a village up in the foothills of the
Himalayas, his traditional wife, the village idiot, the widowed mother
-- take on a human glow and their lives an unexpected resonance. It is
the small events, little gestures, nondescript people, that suffuse
the world of Shivani's fiction with hope, and the future is something
one enters with courage. Shivani's feminism is like a gentle humanism
that does not stop short when it meets the female. Within the
world-view of her fiction, there are few contradictions or problems
that cannot be transcended with a little sympathy and a belief in
the goodness of humankind."
--From 'Women Writing in India', Vol II, by Susie Tharu & K. Lalitha
Shivani graduated from Calcutta University in 1953. She was married
and has four children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Her two daughters, Ira Pande and
Mrinal Pande, are also established
In her earlier years she
was involved in many activities, such as a program advisor to All
India Radio, but later "I take it easy". Shivani lived in Lucknow and
spent several hours a day writing.
Shivani died in 2003.
- A very easy death. Ira Pande, Shivani's daughter, remembers what it was like to have a writer-mother. In the Hindu, 4 May 2003.
- Ira Pande talks about Shivani on the Kamla Bhatt show. (audio)
- Bibliography (all in Hindi)
- Chareiveti. A narrative of travel in
and her encounters with literary figures.
- Atithi. 1996. A novel whose central character,
Jaya, after a failed marriage meets Shekhar who proposes to her.
- Pootonvali. 1998. A collection of two
novelettes and three short stories.
- Jharokha. 1999.
- Chal Khusaro Ghar Aapne. 1998. A novel.
- Vatayan. 1999.
- Ek Thi Ramrati. 1998.
- Mera Bhai/Patheya. 1997. A novella and her recollections of
events and personages.
- Yatrik. 1999. Her experiences in England where she travelled
for the marriage of her son.
- Jaalak. 1999. 48 short memoirs.
- Amader Shantiniketan. 1999. Reminiscences of Shantiniketan.
- Manik -- novellette and other stories (Joker and Tarpan).
- Shmashan Champa, 1997.
- Surangma. A powerful novel about a political figure and his
personal life shadowed by sordid relationships.
- Mayapuri. A novel about relationships.
- Kainja. A novel and 7 short stories.
- Bhairvee. A novel.
- Gainda. A novel and two long stories.
- Krishnaveni. A novelette and two short stories.
- Swayam Sidha. A novel and 6 short stories.
- Kariya Cheema. 7 short stories.
- Up Preti. 2 short novels, a story and 13 nonfictional articles.
- Chir Swayamvara. 10 short stories and 5 sketches.
- Vishkanya. A novelette and 5 short stories.
- Krishnakali and other stories. One of her most popular novels.
The lovely Krishnakali has devastating good looks and professional
success, but remains tormented -- loved and admired by hordes of
men but loving no one herself.
- Kastoori Mrig. A short novel and several articles.
- Aparadhini. A novel.
- Rathya. A novel.
- Chaudah Phere. A novel.
- Rati Vilap. 3 novelettes and 3 short stories.
- Shivani ki Sresth Kahaniyan. 13 outstanding short stories.
- Smriti Kalash. 10 essays.
- Sunhu Taat Yeh Akath Kahani. Autobiographical narratives.
- Hey Dattatreya. Folk culture and literature of Kumaon.
- Manimala Ki Hansi. Short stories, essays, memoirs and sketches.
- Shivani ki Mashhoor Kahaniyan. 12 short stories.
South Asian Women authors