This book engages with the life and works of the distinctive Hindi writer Krishna Sobti, known for making bold choices of themes in her writing. Also known for her extraordinary use of the Hindi language, she emerges as an embodiment of a counter archive. While presenting the author in the context of her times, this volume offers critical perspectives to define her position in the canon of modern Indian literature.
Alongside important critical essays on her, the inclusion of excerpts from the translations of some major works by the author, such as Zindaginama, Mitro Marjani and Ai Ladki, greatly facilitate an understanding of her worldview and the contexts in which she wrote. Also included in this book are some of her reflections on the creative process that help in unfolding the complexities of her characters and her specific approach to the language of fiction. Writing in the times of significant political and cultural churnings, her fiction includes themes such as the Partition of the country and its aftermath, women and their sexuality, desire and violence, history and memory. Her writing subverted the dominant narratives of the times and de-historicised history. Her own essays and other critical writings demonstrate the way Krishna Sobti’s characters are abundantly polyphonic and seeped in social realities. They encapsulate the cultural milieu of their times and serve as a site of resistance to the dominant archive of power. Her interactions with her fellow Hindi writers such as Nirmal Verma and Krishan Baldev Vaid, as also her letters, her memoirs and the reminiscences of others, further enrich this volume and establish her unique voice.
Part of the ‘Writer in Context’ Series, this book will be useful for scholars and researchers of Indian literature, English literature, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, gender studies, translation studies and Partition studies.