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Bodies That Remember

Women's Indigenous Knowledge and Cosmopolitanism in South Asian Poetry

Anita Anantharam is assistant professor of women's studies at the University of Florida

Publication Year: 2011

An engaging and informative exploration of four women poets writing in Hindi and Urdu over the course of the twentieth century in India and Pakistan. Anantharam follows the authors and their works, as both countries undergo profound political and social transformations. The book tells of how these women forge solidarities with women from different, castes, classes, and religions through their poetry.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. ix-xi

A Note on Transliterations

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p. xiii-xiii

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pp. xv-xxii

I was raised, like many second-generation immigrants, believing in the promise of America; that life here would be all that my parents wanted it to be when they left India in the 1970s. Yet there were some core, essential ideas . . .

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Introduction: Intervals in Time, Interplay of Feelings: Empowerment as Process

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pp. 1-37

In 1997, Salman Rushdie wrote an article for the New Yorker titled “Damme, This Is the Oriental Scene for You!” in which he argued that some of the best literature coming out of India today is written in English. This special fiction . . .

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1. Through the Looking Glass of Poetry: Grounding Metaphor and Illuminating Women’s History

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pp. 38-97

Of the four poets this book seeks to situate in their respective historical periods and locales, Mahadevi Varma is the most well known. A household name in India even today, she has secured her legacy in the world of Hindi poetry. . . .

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2. “Pink in the Black Border”: Feminism, Nationalism, and Islamic Revitalization

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pp. 98-145

In this poem, titled “Anticlockwise,” Kishwar Naheed challenges the capacity of society, God, and Islam to restrict her movement. In the original Urdu there is a palpable rhythm to how the poet refl ects on the many ways . . .

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3. “One Day the Girl Will Return”: Compassion as Social Praxis

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pp. 146-201

This chapter on the Hindi poet Gagan Gill poses serious methodological challenges for several reasons. In the span of the eight years that I have now known her, Gagan has become a real part of my life: she is now a dear friend . . .

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Epilogue: Visionary Activism: Religion, Metaphor, and Feminist History

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pp. 202-215

If in our traveling theory, we are alive to the metaphoricity of the peoples of imagined communities—migrant or metropolitan—then we shall fi nd that the space of the modern nation-people is never simply horizontal. Their . . .

Works Cited

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pp. 219-230


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pp. 231-252

E-ISBN-13: 9780815650591
E-ISBN-10: 0815650590
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815632634
Print-ISBN-10: 0815632630

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • South Asian poetry -- History and criticism.
  • Women and literature -- South Asia.
  • Women in literature
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