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I, Durga Khote
An Autobiography

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Author: Durga Khote
Translator: Shanta Gokhale
Price: Rs. 195
July 2007 

I, Durga Khote is the firsthand account of the life and times of a leading actress of Hindi and Marathi cinema—Durga Khote. Catapulted into the film industry by early marriage and premature widowhood, the autobiography reveals Khote’s grit in the face of tragedy, her determination to be independent, and her constant desire to learn. This nuanced translation from the original Marathi by Shanta Gokhale and the introduction, discussing the place of personal writing in Marathi literature, by Gayatri Chatterjee will appeal to readers of Indian literature in translation, autobiographies, and Indian cinema.

Ramanujar

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Author:Indira Parthasarathy
translator: T.Sriraman 
Rs. 495
December 2007

An important preceptor of medieval India> and the proponent of the Visishtadvaita school of thought, Ramanuja established the supremacy of the Sri Vaishnava dimension of Hinduism. Indira Parthasarathy’s play, originally written in Tamil and published in 1997, is based on the life, ideas, and beliefs of Ramanuja. Retrieving its subject from the shackles of establishment, the play foregrounds Ramanuja’s open-mindedness and spiritual equality. The ideas and beliefs of Ramanuja hold ground even after 900 years, and the play brings to light one of his most progressive social measures—initiate everyone into spiritual knowledge.


The English translation by T. Sriraman captures the tone of the Tamil original and makes the world-view of Ramanuja accessible to a wider audience. The reader’s perception of the historico-social context of Ramanuja’s life and mission is enhanced by C.T. Indra’s critical introduction and extensive commentary.

Three Sides of Life
Short Stories by Bengali Women Writers

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Translator: Sumitra Chakravarty
Price: Rs. 350
February 2007

This selection of fifteen stories by five exceptional Bengali women writers looks at the lives of women who are neither stars nor martyrs in the feminist cause. They are voices, individual and particular, of women leading their everyday lives, nursing their joys and sorrows. These women write out of their bodies and the intimate spaces around them; they write the history and mathematics of their lives; they compose a deeper reality; they give us an atmosphere, a sky, and a house with many doorways helping us to reclaim their original energy and wonderful clarity.


The manushi created by the woman writer speaks in several voices and addresses issues, emotional and psychological, that affect their lives and control their decisions: from the low-caste woman of Mahasweta Devi’s story to the teenage immigrant in America of Nabaneeta Dev Sen’s, from the girl child battling humiliation in Bani Basu’s to the victim of marital exploitation in Ashapurna Devi’s, and the women of the old-age home in Suchitra Bhattacharya’s tale. These women form a small strong chorus, which testifies that women’s writing is more than a literary act—it is imagining a world into being.


It is through the battles that they must fight daily that the women explore their emotional, social, and economic selfhood. The stories, at once linear and circular, offer fewer closures than the work of male writers, and carry with them the echoes of loss.

The Autobiography of a Sex Worker

by Nalini Jameela; Translated by J. Devika
Westland Books, Chennai, 2007

A powerful, courageous memoir of a sex worker called Nalini Jameela. Her English edition is a revised form of her autobiography, Njan, Laingikatozhilaali, that first appeared in Malayalam in 2005, selling 13,000 copies and generating an enormous amount of controversy.

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