Narrating Lives, Narrating Selves: Women's Autobiographics in Hindi


Monika Browarczyk
Jagiellonian University


In the second half of the 1990s more than a dozen women published their autobiographies in Hindi. It was a new development as far as Hindi was concerned and the sizable growth in the number of published autobiographies seems to have been quite sudden. The research, presented in this book, examines possible reasons for the emergence of these auto narratives in Hindi. It looks also at some theoretical debates on the autobiographical modes of expression in relation to identity, subjectivity and agency as concepts significant for both the feminist and the postcolonial discourses. Finally, it presents close reading of four autobiographies written by women in Hindi (Kausalya Baisantri, Maitreyi Pushpa, Prabha Khaitan and Chandrakiran Sonrexa).


  • Acknowledgements .......... 9
  • Notes on Transcription, Title Annotation and Quotations .......... 11
  • Introduction. Critical Mass of WOmanhood. Theory of Autobiography and Practice of Autobiographical Narratives in South Asia .......... 14
  • Chapter One. Double Curse. A Tale of a Dalit Woman by Kausalya Baisantri .......... 79
  • Chapter Two. Mrs Sharma Turns Writer. Maitreyi Pushpa's 'Novelised' Autobiography vs. 'Classical' Autobiography .......... 131
  • Chapter Three. A Woman Called Prabha Khaitan. The Autobiography of the Self as the Other .......... 169
  • Chapter Four. Caged Mynah in Search of a Room of her Own. Chandrakiran Sonrexa's Autobiographical Epic of Every Day .......... 223
  • Conclusions. Womanbeingness is Foreigness .......... 267


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January 7, 2021

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ISBN-13 (15)