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Title: Women writing independence, partition and communal violence, 1947-2000
Author: Lee, Richard Brian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 1216
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2012
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Women Writing Independence, Partition and Communal Violence explores the important role literature has played in interrogating and supplementing historical accounts of women's experiences of Independence and Partition. It analyses how fiction highlights recurrent absences and inconsistencies in most historical accounts with regard to the significance of 1947 to women. Chapter One, Representing Partition, considers the descriptions of women's lives in the mid-1940s in historical texts, newspaper accounts and autobiographies. It emphasises how the effects of events upon women have often been elided or understated. Chapter Two, Gestures of Defiance and Subversion, focuses on Attia Hosain's Sunlight on a Broken Column (1961) and Anita Desai's Clear Light of Day (1980). It examines their portrayal of women's status in Indian society pre and post-1947 and investigates whether national freedom was matched by equal progress in the rights of women. Chapter Three, Woman as Sign, concentrates on Jyotirmoyee Devi's The River Churning (1967) and Bapsi Sidhwa's Cracking India (1988). It explores how Devi and Sidhwa delineate the repercussions for women of the brutalities of 1946-47. It contends that these novels' particular strengths lie in their revelations of women's lives after assault/abduction and of their participation in social work. Chapter Four, Learningfrom Past Lives, analyses Manju Kapur's Difficult Daughters (1998) and Shauna Singh Baldwin's What the Body Remembers (1999). It scrutinises how the texts present the transmission of memories across generations and how family or community recollections can unsettle selective and sanitised versions of history. This thesis underlines the vital function of literature in depicting the direct impact of this cataclysm upon women in 1947 and in the decades thereafter. It argues that, while such fiction is not the 'only witness' to women's experiences of Independence and Partition, it remains the most 'eloquent'
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available