Gendered Realities, Human Spaces: The Writing of Shashi Deshpande

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Rawat Publications, Jan 1, 2003 - Social Science - 318 pages
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"Gendered realities, human spaces: the writing of shashi deshpande works through a close reading of her fiction, her non-fiction and interviews in order to interrogate the strengths and limits of 'feminist' positions. It goes on to free Deshpande's work from a reading confined only to the woman question and opens it out to aesthetic evaluations and sociocultural histories. Jain takes up the position that Deshpande's work makes a significant contribution to the novel of 'becoming', and she has moved beyond the 'given' of gender, of stereotypical role models, even beyond androgyny to assert the right of woman as woman to a human space in the larger world. Even as images of domesticity and marital unhappiness are explored, the task of deconstructing and dismantling these confining spaces goes on. She uses the cultural heritage, so often described as 'Indianness', to subvert patriarchal hegemony and counter the male imagination of sociocultural realities with a woman's view of the same. This juxtaposition is neither a division, nor a merger. It collapses the boundaries between the 'home' and the 'world', between the 'frontyard' and the 'backyard' and compels the reader to look afresh at the world that emerges, out of the shadows, the silences and the terrors. Jain's assessment, like Deshpande's work, is context-sensitive and seeks to locate her in the multiple contexts of the present and the multiple traditions of the past."

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About the author (2003)

Jasbir Jain is director of the Institute for Research in Interdisciplinary Studies (IRIS), Jaipur. Formerly of the University of Rajasthan, she has headed the Department of English and has worked in various capacities including the directorship of the Academic Staff College.Jain has travelled extensively and has been the recipient of several awards. Amongst them are the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship as Writer in Residence (2009), UGC Fellow (2005 2007), Emeritus Fellow (2002 2004) and K.K. Birla Fellowship for Comparative Literature (1998 2000). Elected life-member of Clare Hall, Cambridge, she has also availed of the Fulbright Fellowship and of the American Council of Learned Societies. In 2008, the South Asia Literary Association conferred on her the SALA Award for her work in Feminist and South Asian Studies and her distinguished scholarship. Earlier in 2004, she was awarded the Indian Association of Canadian Studies (IACS) Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Canadian Studies. The American Association of Colleges and Universities nominated her a Global Fellow for 2003.Her publications include three volumes on the Indian novel covering the period 1860 2000 and, interrogating the periodisation thrust on it, she went on to work on the connectivity across languages. Her current interests are in theory and narratology and in exploring traditions. Her recent work includes "Gendered Realities "and "Beyond Postcolonialism: The Dreams and Realities of a Nation "and a forthcoming work is "The Writer as Critic".

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