Amrita Pritam : The Writer Provocateur

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    • Abstract:
      Amrita Pritam was a prominent Punjabi poet, novelist, and essayist who captured the realities of everyday life in the India of the early 1900s India and presented the unique voices of the women of the Indian subcontinent. This book offers a comprehensive understanding of the writer's work by situating it in the context of not just Punjabi literature but Indian literature, while showcasing their continued relevance in contemporary times. With a career spanning over six decades, she Pritam produced over 100 books of poetry, fiction, biographies, essays, a collection of Punjabi folk songs and an autobiography that were all translated into several Indian and foreign languages. This volume includes critical essays on her works as well as a selection of her poems and stories in translation including, ‘A Call to Waris Shah'(Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah nu), The Skeleton (Pinjar) and Village No. 36 (Khabarnama Te Chak No. 36) and excerpts from other prominent writings to give readers a glimpse into Pritam's her rich literary oeuvre as well as her legacy in a post-colonial India which is still grappling with many of the same taboos around gender, national and religious identity and women's sexuality. It discusses the diversity of themes and socio-cultural realities in her writings works focusing especially on her writings on Punjab, agency of her women protagonists, national and communal identities and the testimonies of the traumas which the cataclysmic 1947 Partition of India brought on women. A writer who consistently subverted the existing social, political and patriarchal structures of her times, both in her life and in her writings, this book encapsulates the relevance of her writing and her voice in our times. Part of the ‘Writer in Context'series, this book will be useful for scholars and researchers of Indian literature, Hindi literature, Punjabi Literature, English literature, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, global south studies and translation studies.
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