Writing Resistance: The Rhetorical Imagination of Hindi Dalit Literature

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Columbia University Press, Jun 10, 2014 - Literary Criticism - 288 pages
Writing Resistance is the first close study of the growing body of contemporary Hindi-language Dalit (low caste) literature in India. The Dalit literary movement has had an immense sociopolitical and literary impact on various Indian linguistic regions, yet few scholars have attempted to situate the form within contemporary critical frameworks. Laura R. Brueck’s approach goes beyond recognizing and celebrating the subaltern speaking, emphasizing the sociopolitical perspectives and literary strategies of a range of contemporary Dalit writers working in Hindi. Brueck explores several essential questions: what makes Dalit literature Dalit? What makes it good? Why is this genre important, and where does it oppose or intersect with other bodies of Indian literature? She follows the debate among Dalit writers as they establish a specifically Dalit literary critical approach, underscoring the significance of the Dalit literary sphere as a “counterpublic” generating contemporary Dalit social and political identities. Brueck then performs close readings of contemporary Hindi Dalit literary prose narratives, focusing on the aesthetic and stylistic strategies deployed by writers whose class, gender, and geographic backgrounds shape their distinct voices. By reading Dalit literature as literature, this study unravels the complexities of its sociopolitical and identity-based origins.
 

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Contents

Acknowledgments
A Note on Transliteration
Introduction
Part 1 Mapping the Hindi Dalit Literary Sphere
Part 2 Reading Hindi Dalit Literature

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About the author (2014)

Laura Brueck is associate professor of Hindi literature and South Asian studies at Northwestern University. In 2013, she published a collection of English translations of Hindi author Ajay Navaria's short stories titled Unclaimed Terrain: Stories by Ajay Navaria. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters about Hindi Dalit literature.

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