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Body Blows: Women, Violence and Survival

Poile Sengupta (Author) Manjula Padmanabhan (Author) Dina Mehta (Author)
Synopsis Women face violence in many aspects of their daily lives, from total strangers on the street who view them as sexual objects, from members of the family, from a society which assigns them a status lower than men. This violence is multifaceted: not merely physical, it is more often mental and emotional, subtle and indirect, often insidious and hard to recognize, presented, as it usually is, in the guise of respect, idealization, concern, protectiveness or passion. The effects of violence on a woman’s psyche are deeply complex, hard to understand and even more difficult to overcome. The women playwrights in this volume focus on all these various kinds of violence and abuse the women face. Sensitive, nuanced texts, together these plays make up a powerful volume for focussing on one of the most important and problematic issues of our society. In Lights Out, the daily mystery of heart-rending screams from a woman in obvious pain destroys the fabric of domesticity of a middle-class couple, divided in their response to her anguish. As the play unfolds, one begins to realize that she is not the only woman coping with abuse. Getting Away with Murder follows three friends through their own private hells, as they deal with childhood sexual abuse, infidelity and insecure relationships, to emerge as stronger women at the end of it. Mangalam shows how abuse and violence span the generations, remaining a constant even though society moves towards ‘modernity’. Dina Mehta is a playwright, novelist and editor based in Mumbai. She has written several award-winning plays. Manjula Padmanabhan is writer and cartoonist living in Delhi. She has several publications to her credit. Poile Sengupta, based in Bangalore has been a teacher, writer for children, poet, columnist and playwright. C. S. Lakshmi or Ambai, as she is widely known, is a leading Tamil fiction writer and activist on women’s issues.
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About the authors

Manjula Padmanabhan

Manjula Padmanabhan (b. 1953) is a Delhi-based writer and artist. Her comic strips appeared weekly in the Sunday Observer (Bombay, 1982-86) and daily in the Pioneer (New Delhi, 1991-97). Her books include Hot Death, Cold Soup (Kali for Women, 1996), Getting There (Picador UK, 1999), This is Suki! (Duckfoot Press, 2000) and Kleptomania (Penguin Books India, 2004). Harvest (Kali for Women, 1998 and subsequently in three separate international anthologies), her fifth play, won the 1997 Onassis Award for Theatre. Manjula has illustrated twenty-four books for children including her own novels, Mouse Attack and Mouse Invaders (Macmillan Children’s Books, UK, 2003, 2004).

Dina Mehta

Dina Mehta is one of India’s most versatile and accomplished writers in English. She has published a novel (And Some Take a Lover, 1992) and two books of short stories and written several prize-winning plays, including Brides Are Not For Burning (1979), which won first prize in the BBC International Playwriting Competition. Her stories and articles have appeared in the Independent, the Deccan Herald, Kaiser-E-Hind, and London Magazine, and her scripts have been heard on Doordarshan and All India Radio. She was fiction editor at the Illustrated Weekly of India from 1976 to 1982, and has worked as a senior editor at Parsiana and Voyage.

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Bibliographic information

Title Body Blows: Women, Violence and Survival
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2000
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170461714
length 170p.
Subjects History