In this Book

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
summary

The Agent in the Margin: Nayantara Sahgal’s Gandhian Fiction is a comprehensive study of the literary works of Nayantara Sahgal, daughter of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit—the first woman president of the United Nations General Assembly—and niece of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister. Clara A.B. Joseph introduces Mahatma Gandhi’s political and philosophical to literary analysis and utilizes non-structuralist aspects of Louis Althusser’s theories of ideology to trace how characters marginalized by gender, class, race, and language in Sahgal’s work assume agency, challenging poststructuralist theories of cultural and ideological determinism. She considers how gender complicates autobiography and how the roles of daughter, virgin, wife, widow, and alien serve (often ironically) to highlight human dignity.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xi
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  1. Introduction: Agency in the Margins: Althusser, Gandhi, Sahgal
  2. pp. 1-42
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  1. Chapter One: The Interpellated “I”: Gandhian Ideology and the Autobiographical Genre
  2. pp. 43-74
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  1. Chapter Two: The Thinking Subject: Virginity and Swaraj
  2. pp. 75-95
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  1. Chapter Three: The Special Place of Literature: Mahasati, Satyagrahi
  2. pp. 96-119
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  1. Chapter Four: Overdetermination and Truth
  2. pp. 120-146
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  1. Chapter Five: The Resisting Subject: Dignity of Lesser Breeds
  2. pp. 147-166
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  1. Conclusion: Representing the Human Person
  2. pp. 167-175
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 176-186
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 187-205
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