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Early Women's Writings in Orissa, 1898-1950: A Lost Tradition

Sachidananda Mohanty (Editor)
Synopsis The sense of cultural continuity, which serves as the moorings of a society, involves both conjunctions and disruptions in tradition. These can become a shared legacy only when there is a process of historical recognition. However, a complex sex of processes--which include the idea of what constitutes a literary canon, the dominance of a particular kind of discourse and gender bias-push certain writings towards oblivion. Based on archival research, this fascinating book brings together many of the neglected writings of Oriya women of the late 19 and early 20 centuries. Sachidananda Mohanty focuses on a period when women's writings dealt not only with questions of gender and identity but also with cultural, political and ideological issues of their times. Utilizing different forms--short stories, poems, essays, travel writings, novels and letters--these women writers responded honestly both to the world that was in turmoil around them and to the demands of their own inner selves. By articulating and advancing the personal in the public and by imbuing the personal with the social and the political, these 'literacy domestics' transcended their limitations and became the precursors of a tradition that critically examined both traditional values and modern contingencies, yet sought to bring them together to fruition. Through the works of these writers, Professor Mohanty explores various questions that include: What are the special features of this body of writing? What was the influence of factors like history, politics, gender and culture on the origin and dissemination of this literature? How can we view the issues of art, politics and feminist historical writings in Orissa in the context of a globalized world? Besides according these 'early feminists' their rightful place in the literary world, this book provides valuable insights into the condition of Oriya women at the time when the region was witnessing various movements and campaigns for women's education, widow remarriage, abolition of untouchability and freedom from British rule. This absorbing book will be great value to the general reader as well as to scholars, teachers and students of regional and comparative literature, cultural studies, gender studies and English literature.
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About the author

Sachidananda Mohanty

Recipient of The Katha Award - 1992 (Presented by the President of India) , Sachidananda Mohanty is currently on the faculty of the Department of English, University of Hyderabad. The author has earlier taught English Literature at Utkal and Berhampur University in Orissa. Educated at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry and the University of Hyderabad, Dr. Mohanty received his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1987. He was the British Council Visitor in U.K. for 1990 and during 1990-91 he was the Visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Humanities Research Centre, University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A. Dr. Mohanty's writings have appeared in some of the leading journals and newspapers of the country and his first book Phonix in Peacock's Land : D.H. Lawrence Scholarship in India (co-authored) was earlier published by The Writer's Workshop, Calcutta.

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Bibliographic information

Title Early Women's Writings in Orissa, 1898-1950: A Lost Tradition
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 817829432X
length 243p., Illustrations.