My Family and Other Saints, by Kirin Narayan
University of Chicago Press 2007 In 1969, young Kirin Narayan's older brother, Rahoul, announced that he was quitting school and leaving home to seek enlightenment with a guru. From boyhood, his restless creativity had continually surprised his family, but his departure shook up everyone-- especially Kirin, who adored her high-spirited, charismatic brother.
A touching, funny, and always affectionate memoir, My Family and Other Saints traces the reverberations of Rahoul's spiritual journey through the entire family. As their beachside Bombay home becomes a crossroads for Westerners seeking Eastern enlightenment, Kirin's sari-wearing American mother wholeheartedly embraces ashrams and gurus, adopting her son's spiritual quest as her own. Her Indian father, however, coins the term 'urug' -- guru spelled backward -- to mock these seekers, while young Kirin, surrounded by radiant holy men, parents drifting apart, and a motley of young, often eccentric Westerners, is left to find her own answers. Deftly re-creating the turbulent emotional world of her bicultural adolescence, but overlaying it with the hard-won understanding of adulthood, Narayan presents a large, rambunctious cast of quirky characters, from her grandmother Ba, who enjoys visits from Hindu deities, to such urugs as Bhagwan Dass and the Cupboard Swami. Throughout, she brings to life not just a family but also a time when just about everyone, it seemed, was consumed by some sort of spiritual quest.
Interweaving family stories and mythology, My Family and Other Saints is a poignant reminder that the stories we tell are at the heart of the bonds that tie a family together, no matter how far afield our journeys may take us.
Sawnet ReviewExcerpt from the book, at the University of Chicago website.
Review by William Grimes in the New York Times.
My Own Witness, by Mrinal Pande
1989 An irreverent look behind
the facade of news reporting.
National Identity in Indian Popular Cinema: 1947-1987, by Sumita Chakravorty
Nationalism, democracy, and development : state and politics in India, by editors, Sugata Bose, Ayesha Jalal
Negotiating Ethnicity, by Bandana Purkayastha
Rutgers University Press 2005 In the continuing debates on the topic of racial and ethnic identity in the United States, there are some that argue that ethnicity is an ascribed reality. To the contrary, others claim that individuals are becoming increasingly active in choosing and constructing their ethnic identities.
Focusing on second-generation South Asian Americans, Bandana Purkayastha offers fresh insights into the subjective experience of race, ethnicity, and social class in an increasingly diverse America. The young people of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Nepalese origin that are the subjects of the study grew up in mostly white middle class suburbs, and their linguistic skills, education, and occupation profiles are indistinguishable from their white peers. By many standards, their lifestyles mark them as members of mainstream American culture. But, as Purkayastha shows, their ethnic experiences are shaped by their racial status as neither "white" nor "wholly Asian," their continuing ties with family members across the world, and a global consumer industry, which targets them as ethnic consumers."
Drawing on information gathered from forty-eight in-depth interviews and years of research, this book illustrates how ethnic identity is negotiated by this group through choice-the adoption of ethnic labels, the invention of "traditions," the consumption of ethnic products, and participation in voluntary societies. The pan-ethnic identities that result demonstrate both a resilient attachment to heritage and a celebration of reinvention.
Lucidly written and enriched with vivid personal accounts, Negotiating Ethnicity is an important contribution to the literature on ethnicity and racialization in contemporary American culture.
Night of the New Moon, by Anees Jung
Penguin, New Delhi. 1993 Encounters with Muslim women in India.
No Shame for the Sun, by Shahla Haeri
Syracuse University Press. 2004 A collection of essays and interviews with six women in Pakistan, as well as an analysis of their lives.
Sawnet ReviewMore about Shahla Haeri
Interview at jazbah.org
Review by Laila Kazmi on chowk.com
Of Woman Caste: The Experience of Gender in Rural India, by Anjali Bagwe
Stree, Calcutta, and Zed books . 1995
Off the Beaten Track, by Madhu Kishwar
Oxford University Press. 2002 A collection of essays by Kishwar, in
which she "criticises the legislation enacted to prevent sati and
dowry, opposes co-ownership rights for wives, finds unexpected virtues in the
joint family and arranged marriage, and urges women to
exercise voluntary sexual restraint, even abstinence,
rather than explore their sexuality.
Sawnet ReviewManushi web site
On the Edge of the Auspicious: Gender and Caste in Nepal., by Mary Cameron
University of Illinois Press, USA. . 1998
Once Was Bombay, by Pinki Virani
Viking Penguin. 1999
Sawnet ReviewReview by
Deepa Gahlot in The Rediff Reviewer.
Review by Man
Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire, by Arundhati Roy
South End Press 2004
Parama and other Outsiders, by Shoma A. Chatterji
Parumita Publications, Calcutta. 1989 An auteur critique covering the entire directorial oeuvre of Aparna Sen, from 36 Chowringhee Lane to Paromitaar Ek Din.
Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India, by Sooni Taraporevala
Overlook-Duckworth Press 2004 A collection of exquisite photographs taken over a 20-year period, documenting the Parsi community in India. "Demographically, we are a dying community-our deaths outweigh our births. [..] Demographic trends project that by the year 2020, India will have achieved the dubious distinction of being the most populated country on earth with 1200 million people. At that point, Parsis who will number 23,000-0.0002 per cent of the population, will cease to be termed a community and will be labelled a 'tribe', as is any ethnic group below the 30,000 count. It is a fact that obsesses us..."
Sawnet ReviewPhoto collection tells stories of Parsis in India at NPR.
Passage from India - Asian Immigrant Experience in North America, by Joan Jensen
Politics of home: postcolonial relocations and twentieth-century fiction, by Rosemary Marangoly George
Cambridge University Press. 1996
Politics, People and Places: A Journalist's Diary, by Promilla Kalhan
Variety Book Depot, New Delhi. 1989
Postcolonial perspectives on the Raj and its literature, by Vrinda Nabar
University of Bombay, Bombay. 1994
Power Politics, by Arundhati Roy
South End Press, Cambridge, Mass. 2002 In Power Politics, Arundhati Roy challenges the idea that only "experts" can speak out on such urgent matters as the globalization of the world economy, the privatization of India's power supply by U.S.-based energy companies, and the construction of monumental dams that will dislocate hundreds of thousands of people. Roy takes us to the frontlines of struggles for social justice and a humane, democratic future.
Queering India: Same-Sex Love and Eroticism in Indian Culture and
Society, by Ruth Vanita
NY: Routledge 2002
Recasting Women: Essays in Colonial History, by Kumkum Sangari and Sudesh Vaid
Kali for Women /Rutgers University Press 1989
Rediscovering Dharavi: Stories from India's largest slum, by Kalpana Sharma
Penguin India. 2000
Relative Merits: A Personal Memoir of the Bandaranaike family of Sri Lanka, by Yasmine Gooneratne
C. Hurst & Co., London, and St Martin's Press, NY 1989
Remix: Conversations with immigrant teenagers, by Marina Budhos
Henry Holt, New York. . 1999
Rewriting History, by Uma Chakravarti
Kali for Women. 2000
Ritwik Ghatak: The Rebel, by Shoma A. Chatterji
Charitabali Series, Rupa & Co., Delhi. 2004
Sadak Chaap, by Meher Pestonji
Penguin India 2006 The day ten-year-old Rahul, part-time rag-picker, pickpocket and petty thief living footloose on the streets of Bombay, finds an abandoned baby on a railway platform, his life changes forever. He quickly appoints himself the baby’s father, making her the emotional anchor that had been missing from his life. And, while he is treated as quite the hero within his street community, he wins the trust and affection of people who are willing to give him the opportunity to start afresh and work towards a better future. But the streets are mean, inescapable, and as Rahul indulges his paltry desires and shallow dreams, he finds himself spiralling, yet again, into a vortex of crime, abuse and loneliness. As horrific as it is heartbreaking, Sadak Chhaap evokes the brutal existence of street urchins with unrelenting realism and deep sympathy.
Review in the Daily Star.
Same Sex Love in India: Readings from Indian history and literature, by Ruth Vanita, Saleem Kidwai
St. tin's Press, New York. 1989
Same-Sex Love in India, by Ruth Vanita
Palgrave-St tin's Press; New Delhi: Macmillan 2002 Co-edited with Saleem Kidwai.
Sappho and the Virgin Mary, by Ruth Vanita
Columbia University Press. 1996
Sati: Widow Burning in India, by Sakuntala Narasimhan
Seasons of Splendour, by Madhur Jaffrey
Pavilion, London. 1985
Seeing Like a Feminist, by Nivedita Menon
Penguin-Zubaan, India 2012 For Nivedita Menon, feminism is not about a moment of final triumph over patriarchy but about the gradual transformation of the social field so decisively that old markers shift forever.
From sexual harassment charges against international figures to the challenge that caste politics poses to feminism, from the ban on the veil in France to the attempt to impose skirts on international women badminton players, from queer politics to domestic servants' unions to the Pink Chaddi campaign, Menon deftly illustrates how feminism complicates the field irrevocably.
Interview with the author in OutlookIndia
Review in the Sunday Guardian
Article in Times of India
Self and sovereignty : individual and community in South Asian Islam since 1850., by Ayesha Jalal
Seven Sisters, by Anees Jung
Penguin, New Delhi. . 1994
Shabash!Artwallah 2005 The Artwallah Organization commissioned 30 authors to cover the progressive South Asian scene in NY, LA, SF, DC, Toronto, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago -- music, art, film, dance, politics, religion, culture.
More info at the book's website.
Shadow Lives: Writings on Widowhood, by Uma Chakravarti & Preeti Gill
Kali for Women. 2002
Shooting Water, by Devyani Saltzman
Newmarket Press. 2006 Recounts Devyani Saltzman's remarkable story of reconnecting with her mother, international award-winning filmmaker Deepa Mehta. When Devyani was eleven, her parents divorced, and the courts required her to choose which parent to live with. She chose to live with her father in Toronto and then spent the next eight years navigating between two religions (Hinduism and Judaism), two cultures (Indian and Canadian), two traditions, and two people -- belonging to both and to neither at once.
In late 1999, at the age of nineteen, Devyani was invited by her mother to join her in the holy city of Benares, India, to work on Water, the final installment in Mehta's acclaimed Elements trilogy (which started with Fire and
Earth). After only a week of shooting, Water became the target of a series of politically motivated attacks. The movie was shut down. Devyani went off to Oxford and, three years later, rejoined her mother when production resumed in Sri Lanka. What began as a journey to heal deep wounds from the past turned into a five-year odyssey to complete the film.
Transformative and inspiring, Shooting Water chronicles Saltzman's life-changing experience in India, the struggle to produce a film, and, through that struggle, the emergence of a deeper love between mother and daughter.
Sawnet ReviewReview at curledup.com
Ram Subramaniam interviews Devyani Saltzman at curledup.com
Review by Sandip Roy-Choudhury in India Currents.
Review in the Toronto Observer.
Short Takes, Long Memories, by Sharmila Kamat and Prabhakar Kamat
Rupa 2011 A ringside view of an eventful period in Goa?s history - its transition from being a Portuguese colony to becoming Indian, this is the tale of a land caught between the irresistible pull of India and the immovable object that was Salazarist Portugal. The book is based on the reminiscences of I.A.S. officer and diplomat Prabhakar Kamat.
In the late 1940s, Prabhakar Kamat abandons the somnolence of Goa to travel to Europe for higher studies. In Lisbon, his adventures navigating the minefield of culture shocks are tempered by encounters with revolutionaries from the larger Ultramar Português. He returns to a Goa still under colonial rule, with India?s patience wearing thin as Portugal refuses to budge from its Indian enclave. A blink-and-you-missed-it Army action in 1961 lets Goa join India and plunge into its hectic, colourful democracy. Goa?s date with self-rule galvanises Portugal to follow suit.
Silence, Exile and Cunning, by Yasmine Gooneratne
Orient Longman Ltd., New Delhi. Sangam Press Ltd. London 1983. Second edition
Silence, exile and cunning: the fiction of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Orient Longman Ltd., New Delhi, and Sangam Press Ltd., London 1983 1989
Single in the City, by Sunny Singh
Slivers of a Mirror, by Shama Futehally
Mapin Books, Bangalore. Fall . 2004 This translation attempts to capture the best qualities of the ghazal in a contemporary voice. Many of the enduring names of the
ghazal are to be found here, from the early mystic Siraj Aurangabadi, whose language still has a touch of the Deccan, through
the great Ghalib to modern poets like Faiz and Sahir Ludhianvi. Urdu and Devanagiri renderings of the poems will ensure that the originals are also accessible to many readers.
Sole spokesman : Jinnah, the Muslim League, and the demand for Pakistan., by Ayesha Jalal
Speaking Peace: Women's Voices from Kashmir, by Urvashi Butalia
Kali for Women. 2002
Speaking the Unspeakable: Marital Violence Among South Asian Immigrants in the United States, by Margaret Abraham
Rutgers University Press. 2000
friend, an article in the New York Times about Abraham and Sakhi.
by Vandana Singh in SAWF
Spy Princess, by Shrabani Basu
Roli Books, Delhi. 2006 "On 13 September 1944, Noor Inayat Khan, the first female wireless operator to be flown into occupied France, was shot at Dachau. The descendant of Tipu Sultan, the tiger of Mysore, Noor was born in Moscow and raised in the Sufi style of Islam. From this unlikely background she became the only Asian secret agent in Europe in world war II, was one of three women in the SOE to be awarded the George Cross and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. Shrabani Basu's new book tells the full story of this extraordinarily heroic woman.
Noor was brought up in France and Britain and joined the Red Cross when world war II broke out. But, though Sufi tradition preached non-violence, she felt that she had to do more to oppose the horrors of fascism. In Britain, Noor trained as a wireless operator before being recruited by the SOE.
Such was the urgent demand for radio operators that she was sent to France before her training was completed. Working under the code name of Madeleine, she joined a group that sabotaged communication lines. But disaster struck quickly and within days her circuit collapsed and her colleagues were arrested.
Though instructed by her controller, the famous Maurice Buckmaster, to return home, she refused to abandon her post as she was the last radio operator left in Paris. For a time she successfully dodged the Gestapo, but by late 1943 her luck had run out. She was betrayed, arrested and imprisoned at Avenue Foch. Undaunted, she made two dramatic escape attempts, but was recaptured and sent to Germany. Here she was interrogated and tortured and finally sent to Dachau, where she was shot. The Germans had learned nothing from her-not even her real name."
Sawnet ReviewThe truth about India's spy princess. Nilanjana Roy in Business Standard.
Review by Chris Coleman in RCPB.
A spark out of darkness Review in the Hindu.
Interview with the author in the BBC Woman's Hour.
The spy who wowed all. Review in the Hindu.
Princess who became a spy. Review in the Chandigarh Tribune.
State of martial rule : the origins of Pakistan's political economy of defence., by Ayesha Jalal
Staying alive : women, ecology, and survival in India, by Vandana Shiva
Stepmothering, by Jagjit K. Sangha
Demeter Press 2012 In this memoir, the reader is drawn into the life of a South Asian mother and full-time stepmother as she embarks on a spiritual journey of healing and renewal. The author does this through short stories, narrative, and a voice that is authentic, accessible and inviting. Sangha poignantly shows how the pressure to be a “good mother” and “good stepmother” left her feeling inadequate, resentful and angry as she negotiated loyalty conflicts and cultural differences in her bi-racial stepfamily. Rather than succumbing to this pressure, the author describes how she restored her sense of self through nurturing her spirituality. This book is an inspiring real life example of how (step) mothering can shift from being overwhelming to being a catalyst for empowerment and personal transformation. This unique and insightful memoir has been used in course curriculum in women’s studies, sociology and education, at both undergraduate and graduate levels of study.
Story of Mohammed, the Prophet., by Bilkiz Alladin
Storylines: conversations with women writers, edited by Women's World (India) and Asmita Resource Center for Women, Hyderabad. 2004 A compilation of 17 interviews of writers and poets of eminence
writing in different languages, and includes, Ilampirai, Bama (Tamil),
Shafeeq Fatima Shera (Urdu), Sarup Dhruv, Dhiruben Patel (Gujarati),
Nayantara Sehgal (English), Nabaneeta Dev Sen (Bangla), Sara Aboobacker
(Kannada), Volga (Telugu), Rukmini Bhaya Nair (English), among
Storytellers, Saints, and Scoundrels : Folk Narrative in Hindu Religious Teaching, by Kirin Narayan
University of Pennsylvania Press 1989
Subject: Cinema, Object: Woman, by Shoma A. Chatterji
Parumita Publications, Calcutta. 1989 A study of the portrayal of women in Indian cinema.
Suburban Sahibs, by S. Mitra Kalita
Rutgers University Press. 2003 traces the evolution of the suburb from a destination for new arrivals to a launching pad for them. She focuses on three waves of immigration in the post Civil Rights era through the stories of three families: the Kotharis, Patels
Subversive Sites: Feminist Engagement With Law in India, by Ratna Kapur & Brenda Cossman
Sage(New Delhi, Thousand Oaks, London) . 1996
Suchitra Sen, by Shoma A. Chatterji
Charitabali Series, Rupa & Co., Delhi. 2002
Surviving Men, by Shobha De
Sweet and Sour, edited by Sahitya Press, UK. 1993 This bilingual book explores the subject of food. Through stories,
poems, letters, recipes and dialogue 30 Bengali women and girls comment
on the very important part that food plays in their lives.
Taking Charge of our Bodies, edited by Penguin. 2004 Why do women feel that doctors rarely pay attention to what they say? Why are so many women diagnosed as being depressed? Why does the medical system trivialize problems that many women experience as debilitating: back pain, chronic urinary tract infection and menstrual disorder? Is fat a feminist issue? These are among the hundreds of questions that surfaced as a group of women—medical professionals as well as laypersons—worked together on this handbook.
Taking Charge of Our Bodies draws on women's experiences to evaluate scientific information. It explores our feelings about menstruation, abortion, contraception and notes the way in which women are affected by AIDS, tuberculosis, cancer, mental distress, blood pressure and osteoporosis. It discusses problems affecting sexual relationships, confusions about same-sex love and singles.
Taking Precautions, by Shyama Perera
New Holland Publisher 2004 A fascinating account of the often imaginative ways in which humans throughout history have tried to prevent themselves from propagating the race. These range from crocodile dung pessaries, diaphragms made from lemon halves and the linen condoms pioneered by the Italian anatomist Falloppio in the 16th century, through to the breakthrough of the Pill - and the women's liberation it represented - in the 1960s and beyond to the 21st century. Although the methods of today are relatively sophisticated, a foolproof form of contraception has yet to be found if the number of unplanned pregnancies each year is anything to go by. With fascinating illustrations, Taking Precautions is an engrossing, thorough, down-to-earth and amusing history of an often taboo subject.
Tantrika, by Asra Nomani
Harper Collins. 2003 Nomani, an Indian-born Muslim and a Wall Street Journal reporter,
writes about her investigation into her cross-cultural heritage
while reporting for Salon.com from Pakistan in the wake of 9/11.
Sawnet ReviewWall Street
Review at Mantram
the divine law of Islam Asra Nomani on NPR.
Technobrat, by Rukmini Bhaya Nair
reviewed by Krishna Kumar in the Hindustan Times.
Tense Past, Tense Present, edited by Stree, Kolkata. 2003 Interviews with seven women writers -- Shashi Deshpande, Shama Futehally, Githa
Hariharan, Lakshmi Kannan, Sujatha
Mathai, Anuradha Marwah-Roy and
reviewed in the Hindu by Uma Maheshwari.
A review of both these books by Meenakshi Mukherjee in Economic and
The Beauty Game, by Anita Anand
Penguin India 2000 India's beauty queens did a hat trick in 2000, winning the
titles of Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Asia-Pacific. Coincident was the leap in the cosmetics
industry, from Rs. 2,311 crore (1990) to Rs. 18,950 crore (2000).
The Billionaire's Apprentice, by Anita Raghavan
Business Plus 2013 Just as WASPs, Irish-Catholics and Jews once made the ascent from immigrants to powerbrokers, it is now the Indian-American's turn. Citigroup, PepsiCo and Mastercard are just a handful of the Fortune 500 companies led by a group known as the "Twice Blessed." Yet little is known about how these Indian emigres (and children of emigres) rose through the ranks. Until now...
The collapse of the Galleon Group--a hedge fund that managed more than $7 billion in assets--from criminal charges of insider trading was a sensational case that pitted prosecutor Preet Bharara, himself the son of Indian immigrants, against the best and brightest of the South Asian business community. At the center of the case was self-described King of Kings, Galleon's founder Raj Rajaratnam, a Sri-Lankan-born, Wharton-educated billionaire. But the most shocking allegation was that the éminence grise of Indian business, Rajat Gupta, was Rajaratnam's accomplice and mole. If not for Gupta's nose-to-the-grindstone rise to head up McKinsey & Co and a position on the Goldman Sachs board, men like Rajaratnam would have never made it to the top of America's moneyed elite.
Author Anita Raghavan criss-crosses the globe from Wall Street boardrooms to Delhi's Indian Institute of Technology as she uncovers the secrets of this subculture--an incredible tale of triumph, temptation and tragedy.
Sawnet ReviewInside Men. Review in the New York Times
Waylaid on Wall Street. Review in India Today
Review in Bloomberg
Ship of Knaves Review in the Economist.
Review in the Washington Post
The Book of Esther, by Esther David
Penguin 2003 When Esther David set out to write a novel that was loosely based on family history, she did not know that uncovering the past would reveal such a treasure trove of stories, or that the process would cut so close to her own life.
Her story begins in the nineteenth century, with Bathsheba, as she waits for her husband to return from his long absence at their home in Danda village on the Konkan coast. A woman of great strength of character who disregards convention, she steers the family through difficult times, but is shattered by the combined weight of social ostracism and an aborted pregnancy. Her greatgrandson David inherits her sense of empathy for all things living, besides possessing a remarkable talent for healing. He acquires great respect as a doctor in Ahmedabad, but is unable to rein in his exuberant son Joshua, Esther's father, in whom the ability to heal will be directed towards a series of creatures large and small, among them lions, panthers and crocodiles. Joshua goes on to found a zoo, and the stories of the pets they raise form a heartbreaking accompaniment to the human drama.
At home in India Review in the Hindu. July 2003.
A woman's search
for her identity. Review in the Sunday Tribune.
and Other Stories. Review in the Telegraph.
The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile, by Arundhati Roy
with David Barsamian. South End Press. 2004 Four long conversations between Arundhati Roy and David Barsamian, cutting edge radio producer. Beginning in February 2001, the talks presage the September 2001 attack and trace the subsequent War on Terror to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Arundhati Roy eloquently represents the thoughts of people worldwide who are coming to know the United States through the machinations of multinational corporations and the military.
The Christians of Kerala: History, Belief and Ritual Among the Yakoba, by Susan Visvanathan
The Cost of Living, by Arundhati Roy
Random House 1999 Roy's argument against the Narmada Dam. The second half of the book contains her essay on India's detonation of a nuclear bomb. She argues that rather than bringing power to India, the bomb is the "ultimate colonizer" -- "the most antihuman, outright evil thing."
The Dancing Girls of Lahore, by Louise Brown
Harper Collins, y 2005 The dancing girls of Lahore inhabit the Diamond Market in the shadow of a great mosque. The twenty-first century goes on outside the walls of this ancient quarter but scarcely registers within. Though their trade can be described with accuracy as prostitution, the dancing girls have an illustrious history: Beloved by emperors and nawabs, their sophisticated art encompassed the best of Mughal culture. The modern-day Bollywood aesthetic, with its love of gaudy spectacle, music, and dance, is their distant legacy. But the life of the pampered courtesan is not the one now being lived by Maha and her three girls. What they do is forbidden by Islam, though tolerated; but they are gandi, "unclean," and Maha's daughters, like her, are born into the business and will not leave it.
Sociologist Louise Brown spent four years in the most intimate study of the family life of a Lahori dancing girl. With beautiful understatement, she turns a novelist's eye on a true story that beggars the imagination. Maha, a classically trained dancer of exquisite grace, had her virginity sold to a powerful Arab sheikh at the age of twelve; when her own daughter Nena comes of age and Maha cannot bring in the money she once did, she faces a terrible decision as the agents of the sheikh come calling once more.
In shadows of a city of pleasure, courtesans grow old. Review by William Grimes in the New York Times.
Review in Ready Steady Book
The End of Imagination, by Arundhati Roy
The endless female hungers : a study of Kamala Das, by Vrinda Nabar
Sterling Publishers, New Delhi. 1994
The Ethnic Strife: A Study of Asian Indian Women in the U.S., by Nita Shah
Pinkerton and Thomas Publications, New York. 1993
The Gift of a Daughter, by Subhadra Butalia
Penguin India. 2002
Sawnet ReviewReview by Shauna Singh Baldwin in Manushi
They still burn brides. Article in the Hindu.
Dying for dowry. Review in the Hindu.
The Girl from Foreign, by Sadia Shepard
Penguin USA 2009 Sadia Shepard grew up in a joyful, chaotic home just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where cultures intertwined, her father a white Protestant from Colorado and her mother a Muslim from Pakistan. Her childhood was spent in a house full of stories and storytellers, where the customs and religions of both of her parents were celebrated and cherished with equal enthusiasm. But Sadia’s cultural legacy grew more complex when she discovered that there was one story she had never been told. Her beloved maternal grandmother was not a Muslim like the rest of her Pakistani family, but in fact had begun her life as Rachel Jacobs, a descendant of the Bene Israel, a tiny Jewish community whose members believe that they are one of the lost tribes of Israel, shipwrecked in India two thousand years ago. This new knowledge complicated Sadia's cultural inheritance even further, intimately linking her to the faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and to the customs of India, the United States, and Pakistan.
At her grandmother's deathbed, Sadia makes a promise to begin the process of filling in the missing pieces of her family's fractured mosaic. With the help of a Fulbright Scholarship and armed with a suitcase of camera equipment, she arrives in Bombay, where she finds herself struggling to document a community in transition. Her search to connect with the Bene Israel community and understand its unique traditions brings her into contact with a cast of remarkable characters, tests her sense of self, and forces her to examine what it means to lose and seek one’s place, one’s homelands, and one’s history. In the process, she unearths long-lost family secrets, confronts her fears of failure, and finds love in places that surprise her.
Sawnet Review"So are you Muslim or are you Jewish?" Review in the Christian Science Monitor.
Review in the Asian Review of Books.
Brief review in the New Yorker.
Review in the Washington Post
Review in India Today
The Goddess Kali and Kolkata, by Shoma A. Chatterji
UBSPD, Delhi. 2006
The Greater Common Good, by Arundhati Roy
Available online at Outlook. 24 Mar 99. [Poetic
Licence, B.G. Verghese's rejoinder to this essay]
Greater Common Good II, a response by Roy.
Friends of the River Narmada, an
Indian Supreme Court unhappy with NBA leaders and Arundhati Roy.
Hindu, 16 Oct 99.
Medha Patkar win the Booker? Mahesh Nair criticizes Roy's social
activism, in Rediff.
turned social activist. Christian Science Monitor, 17 Aug 99.
Indian Booker Prize winner turns
eco-warrior. AFP, 29 Jul 99.
Threat to burn copies of Roy's
Gujarat bans Arundhati, other's entry. Hindustan Times, 2 Aug 99.
is in court facing charges of contempt and inciting violence. BBC.
The Indian Girl's Definitive Guide to Staying Single, by Nivi Engineer
CreateSpace Independent Publishing 2013 "IT professional seeks Hindi-speaking homely girl with US citizenship who can cook and make chai. Career girls acceptable. Please send biodata and photo." This indispensable guide may offer answers to some of those questions plaguing single Indian women everywhere: - Does this sari make my marriage photo look fat? - If I drink a cup of chai, but no Indian sees me, did I still become more marriageable? - What's the difference between dhania, coriander, and cilantro? - How can I prevent the writer of the above matrimonial from showing up on my mandap?
The Indian Woman, by Shoma A. Chatterji
Vikas Publishing House, Delhi. 1997
The Indian Woman in Perspective, by Shoma A. Chatterji
Ajanta International, Delhi. 1993
The invisibles : a tale of the eunuchs of India, by Zia Jaffrey
Pantheon Books, New York. 1996 Zia Jaffrey's own hybrid Indian-American culture led her to
empathize with the sense of otherness felt by the hijras, or eunuchs, of
India. She pursued the story of
their semi-secret existence.
The hijras have a long tradition in India, yet are regarded with
The book and Ms
Jaffrey's own web site.
by Richard Bernstein in the NYT
The Land of Naked People , by Madhusree Mukerjee
Penguin 2003 On a lush, remote island, modern civilization has recently made contact with what may be the last group of Stone Age people. The Sentinelese wear no clothes, do not know how to start a fire, and have fervently rejected the intrusion of outsiders. But that is changing, writes Madhusree Mukerjee, who has had exceptional access to that island and the others that make up the Andaman chain in the Bay of Bengal.
Over seven years, Mukerjee found that other aboriginals on the islands have abandoned their ancient ways for enticements such as motorcycles and plastic toys. The price: outsiders have taken critical land, introduced serious diseases, and left the natives with a broken sense of self. This book offers unprecedented insights into the processes of colonization and modernization, the persistence of harmful myths about "savages," and the perennially fraught relationship between light- and dark-skinned peoples.
Mukerjee gives us a fascinating look at a world nearly gone. Combining anthropological findings with historical accounts and personal travel stories, she lets us glimpse a primeval, disappearing humanity.
Review at monstersandcritics.
The Pity of Partition, by Ayesha Jalal
HarperCollins India 2013 Ayesha Jalal uses Manto’s life and work to probe the creative tension between literature and history.
Saadat Hasan Manto (1912–1955) was an established Urdu short story writer and a rising screenwriter in Bombay at the time of India’s partition in 1947, and he is perhaps best known for the short stories he wrote following his migration to Lahore in newly formed Pakistan. Today, Manto is an acknowledged master of twentieth-century Urdu literature, and his fiction serves as a lens through which the tragedy of partition is brought sharply into focus. In The Pity of Partition, Manto’s life and work serve as a prism to capture the human dimension of sectarian conflict in the final decades and immediate aftermath of the British Raj.
Ayesha Jalal draws on Manto’s stories, sketches, and essays, as well as a trove of his private letters, to present an intimate history of partition and its devastating toll. Probing the creative tension between literature and history, she charts a new way of reconnecting the histories of individuals, families, and communities in the throes of cataclysmic change. Jalal brings to life the people, locales, and events that inspired Manto’s fiction, which is characterized by an eye for detail, a measure of wit and irreverence, and elements of suspense and surprise. In turn, she mines these writings for fresh insights into everyday cosmopolitanism in Bombay and Lahore, the experience and causes of partition, the postcolonial transition, and the advent of the Cold War in South Asia.
The Myth of the Lone Ranger. Review by Daisy Rockwell in Caravan.
The Power of Women's Informal Networks, by Bandana Purkayastha
, edited by Bandana Purkayastha Lantham, MD: Lexington Books. 1989 In contemporary discussions of gender relations around the world, a gap often exists between theory--which overemphasizes generalized units such as international or developing"--and the complex ways that global and local forces interact to structure women's lives in specific countries and regions. Analyses of movement dynamics on the global level contribute to our understanding of women's activism across borders but do not highlight localized politics spearheaded by poor women. Too often, editors Bandana Purkayastha and Mangala Subramaniam have found, marginalized groups in rural or impoverished areas are overlooked by the international economy of knowledge. The Power of Women's Informal Networks describes and evaluates social organization among poor women in South Asia and West Africa. The contributors to this important new collection of essays draw our attention to these small-scale but politically and socially significant networks as they focus on both agency and the situated contexts within which women work together to improve their lives.
List of Contributors:
Alayne M. Adams, Bianca Ambrose-Oji, Kumkum Bhattacharya, Lucy Creevey, Kathleen Fallon, Shobha Hamal Gurung, Shahanara Husain, Sangeetha Madhavan, Simone Purohit, Sangeetha Purishothaman, Bandana Purkayastha, Dominique Simon, Mangala Subramaniam
The Professional Woman's Dreams, by Sagari Chhabra
Review in Tribune India
The Rhetoric of English India, by Sara Suleri
Beyond Alterity: The English and Otherness in India. Review by Vinay Lal of The Rhetoric of English India
The Silken Swing: Cultural Universe of Dalit Women, by Fernando Franco, Jyotsna Macwan and Suguna Ramanathan (eds.)
Stree, Calcutta. 2000
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The Song of India, by Anees Jung
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The Sorrow and the Terror, by Bharati Mukherjee and Clarke Blaise
1989 About the explosion of Air India 182 on June 23, 1985.
The Trouble with Islam, by Irshad Manji
Random House, Canada. 2003 In this book, Irshad Manji, a journalist, author, TV personality and media
entrepreneur, eflects on the most fundamentalist aspects of Islam, her personal journey to arrive at this insider/outsider position, and the reprisals (including death threats) she is getting from people within her faith for being so outspoken.
Sawnet ReviewInterview at beliefnet.com
A multifaceted fraud. Justin Podur in muslimwakeup.com.
Review in barficulture.com
Review by Andrew Sullivan in racematters.org.
Manji's trouble. Review in Now Toronto.
Review by Harry Rosenberg in roadtopeace.org
Review at atheism.org
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The violence of the Green Revolution : Third World agriculture, ecology, and politics, by Vandana Shiva
The Woman that I am: The Literature and Culture of Contemporary Women of Color, by D. Soyini Madison
St. tin's Press, New York. 1994
To the Other Shore: Lalla's Life and Poetry, by Jaishree Odin
1989 A feminist analysis of the verses of the 14th century poet Lalleshwari.
Towards hope : an ecological approach to the future, by Vandana Shiva
Trade Liberalization: Challenges and opportunities for women in Southeast Asia and Beyond, by Vandana Shiva and Jayati Ghosh
Engender Press, Singapore. 1989
Tremors of Violence, by Rowena Robinson
Sage Publications, 2005 An ethnographic study of Muslim survivors of ethnic strife in Mumbai and two major cities of Gujarat. Based on narratives of and interviews with Muslim men and women, it tries to understand the world and worldview of those who have seen and lived through one or several violent confrontations and episodes in their lives.
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Uncertain Liason, by Shobha De
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Uncertain Liason, by Vandana Shiva
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Under Her Skin, edited by Seal Press. 2004 An anthology of essays by women that explore through a child's lens the sometimes savage, sometimes innocent, and always complex ways in which race shapes American lives and families.
Unruly Immigrants, by Monisha Das Gupta
Duke University Press. 2006 Explores the innovative strategies that South Asian feminist, queer, and labor organizations in the United States have developed to assert claims to rights?such as fair wages or protection from violence?for immigrants without the privileges or security of citizenship. Since the 1980s, many South Asian immigrants have found the India-centered, ?model minority? politics of previous generations inadequate to the task of redressing problems such as violence against women, homophobia, racism, and poverty. Thus they have developed new models of immigrant advocacy. They have sought rights that are mobile rather than rooted in national membership; they have advanced their claims as migrants rather than as citizens-to-be. Creating social justice organizations, they have inventively constructed a transnational complex of rights by drawing on local, national, and international laws to seek entitlements for their constituencies.
Das Gupta offers an ethnography of seven South Asian organizations in the northeastern United States, looking at how these groups developed, how they envisioned their politics, and the conflicts that emerged within the groups over questions of sexual, class, and political identities. She explores the ways that women?s organizations defined and responded to questions of domestic violence as they related to women?s immigration status, the construction of a transnational South Asian queer identity and culture by people who found themselves marginalized by both mainstream South Asian and queer communities in the United States, and the efforts of labor groups who sought economic justice for taxi drivers and domestic workers by confronting local policies that exploited cheap immigrant labor. Creatively responding to the shortcomings of the state, their communities, and the larger social movements of which they are a part, these groups challenge the assumption that citizenship is the necessary basis of rights claims.
Utopia and the Village in South Asian Literatures, by Anupama Mohan
Palgrave Macmillan 2012 Shifting the postcolonial focus away from the city and towards the village, this book examines the rural as a trope in twentieth-century South Asian literatures to propose a new literary history based on notions of utopia, dystopia, and heterotopia and how these ideas have circulated in the literary and the cultural imaginaries of the subcontinent.
Vignettes from Vineyards of Memory, edited by McNally Robinson 2011 Ten Manitoba seniors have contributed to this collection of memories. Born in Manitoba, different parts of Canada or different countries of the world, they record what life was like when they were children. Their memories are testimony to the diversity that is Canadian culture. As one of the writers has said, Our past is prologue to our grandchildren's future.
Violence Against Women: New Movements and New Theories in India, by Gail Omveldt
Kali for Women, New Delhi. 1990
Virtual Equality: The mainstreaming of the gay and lesbian civil rights movement, by Urvashi Vaid
Anchor Bks. 1995 [The gay community] must
wake up and face
the forces that divide it: the current leadership crisis, the lack of
coherent agenda, the new gay conservaties, the threat of anti-gay
and the gay ghetto.
Voices of Sanity - Reaching out for Peace, by Kamla Bhasin, Smitu Kothari, Bindia Thapar
War Talk, by Arundhati Roy
South End Press 2003 War Talk highlights the global rise of militarism and religious and racial violence. Against the backdrop of nuclear brinkmanship between India and Pakistan, the horrific massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, and U.S. demands for an ever-expanding war on terror, she calls into question the equation of nation and ethnicity.
When a place becomes a person, by Anees Jung
Vikas, New Delhi. 1977
Where Women are Leaders: The Sewa Movement in India, by Kalima Rose
Zed Books. 1993
Why I Am A Muslim, by Asma Gull Hasan
Element Books. 2004 The author, a South-Asian-American, California attorney, and practicing Muslim, writes with the hope of modifying common American stereotypes about Muslims: that they approved of 9/11, that they pray to a different God, and that Islam oppresses women. Her writing encompasses her knowledge of her culture and religion, and her own experiences.
Sawnet ReviewReview from Pakistan Link
Women & the nation's narrative, by Neloufer de Mel
Kali for Women. 2003
Women as Subjects: South Asian Histories, by Nita Kumar
University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville. 1994
Women for Afghan Women, edited by St. tin's Press. 2002 Traces the history of women's rights and roles in
Afghanistan over the past 30 years; it examines the current human
rights crisis, and
suggests realistic solutions for post-war Afghanistan.
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Women in Black, White and Technicolour, by Shoma A. Chatterji
Rupa & Co., Delhi. 2004
Women in India and Pakistan : The Struggle for Independence from British Rule, by Rozina Visram
. 1993 An historical account of the evolving roles of
Indian and Pakistani women in their struggle for
independence from the British as well as equal rights follows them
from traditional roles
through social and political awakening.
Women in Romanticism, by Meena Alexander
Barnes & Noble, Md. . 1989
Women in Society -- India, by Vijaya Ghose
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Writing the Women's Movement, by