India On Their Minds : 8 Women, 8 Ideas of India – Ritu Menon


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Anniversaries are markers, and a country’s 75th anniversary commemorating its independence from colonial rule, is certainly special. But an anniversary can also offer an opportunity for reflection, reassessment, and even introspection on that defining moment in a country’s, and a people’s, lives. The eight women in this slim volume are among the many who witnessed, and participated in, the events leading up to the independence of India and who wrote about both, the events, as well as their impact on individual lives. They observed the birth of the nation and recorded that epochal moment, as well as its aftermath, in short story, novel, essay, memoir and autobiography. How did they think of themselves, or of their relationship, with their country? What was nation or nationalism for them? Did they see them as linked, or as discrete? How did they locate themselves in both nation and country—as participants, interlocutors, commentators, and actors, yes, but always, although not always statedly, as women. What better way to mark the 75th anniversary of Indian independence than to offer up these eight women’s ideas of India in a consideration of, and through, their own words and writing.


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