Apradhini : Women Without Men – Shivani, Tr. Ira Pande


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A searing collection of life-stories from the heart of India

The earth-eating Muggi, groomed by her brother-in-law, cons fourteen men into marrying her and runs off with their money, but falls in love with the fifteenth and eagerly awaits the day she will be released from prison so that she can return to him. The intimidating Vaishnavi pushes a buffalo, her cruel mother-in-law and husband over the edge of a ravine and spends the rest of her life punishing herself, wandering from place to place, homeless and penniless.

In this collection of sketches of ordinary women with extraordinary pasts, we read of women whose lives have been changed because of men, women who now survive on the fringes of society – or outside it. Compassionate without ever straying into sentimentality, Shivani’s histories of the formidable women whose lives she chronicled strike a chord in our hearts even today, forty years after they were first written. A few of her short stories, inspired by these women, also form part of this brilliant translation from the Hindi by her daughter and award-winning translator Ira Pande.


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