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Author: Ruth Vanita
Publisher: Yoda Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8190227254
Gandhi’s Tiger and Sita’s Smile presents a collection of compelling essays which interrogate a variety of Indian texts and contexts along intersecting axes of gender, nation, and desire. The primary theme that weaves these varied essays together, written at different points of time with varying focal points of interest, is intertextuality. Vanita examines the way in which medieval texts speak to each other and draw on earlier canonical works, rewriting and transforming narrative in a spirit of respectful conversation.
She also looks at modern texts, such as nineteenth-century poetry and twentieth-century fiction and cinema, as they converse with each other and with older texts. In doing so, she tries to explore how such pre-modern and modern texts and received in later periods or by other cultures in the same period. These captivating and intensely thought –provoking writings demonstrate the author’s superb ability to turn the norm, whether Right-wing or Left-wing on its head, and find a fresh way to appreciate diversity ad change, and the valuable dialogue they give rise to.
Vanita has an astonishing ability to make texts speak to each other. Her intimacy with medieval devotional literature, Urdu poetry as well as modern forms of popular culture result in essays that are sparkling with wit and humor and will make us reexamine what it is to become man, to become woman, or to become animal.
Krieger-Eisenhower Professor and Department Chair, department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
Ruth Vanita’s scholarship is staggering. She scours the intellectual landscape, from the Upanishads to writers of our times, form the tale of Oedipus to that of Ashtavakra, from Sappho to the story of lesbian love in the Bengal version of the Padma Purana. And, through it all, she builds up a case for a more humane society and for the tolerance of diversity, deftly demonstrating how the celebration of diversity has roots in ancient India.
Professor of Economics and C Marks Professor of International Studies at Comell University
FOREWORD BY SHOHINI GHOSH
POLITICS AND POWER
Thinking Beyond Gender in India
The Self Has No Gender: A Female and A Male Scholar Debate Women’s Status in the Mahabharata
Gandhi’s Tiger: Multilingual Elites, The Battle for Minds, and English Romantic Literature in Colonial India
A Rose by any Other Name: The Sexuality Terminology Debates
Was Sita Mrs Ram? The Evolution of Women’s Surnames
Whatever Happened to the Hindu Left?
LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP
God as Sakhi: Medieval Poet Janabai and her Friend Vithabai
Gender, Language, and Genre: Hindus, Muslims, Men, Women, and Lesbian Love in Nineteenth-century Urdu Rekhti Poetry
Tragic Love and the Ungendered Heart: Reading The Well of Loneliness in India and the West
>From a Man (Mard) to a Human Being (Insan): Jealous Husbands, Female Sexuality and Discourses of Love in Three Major Hindi Films
Social Deviant, disabled Victim or Normative Human Being? Love Rewrites the Plot in Dosti and Tamanna
The Many colours of Love: Homoerotic Tropes in modern Indian Fiction
PLEASRUE, PLAY, TRANSFORMATIONS
Sita Smiles: Wife as goddess in the Adhbut Ramayana
Disability as Opportunity: Sage Ashtavakra Mentors Bhagiratha, the Disabled Child of Two Mothers
Playing the Field: Homoeroticism in Modern Indian Advertising
Pleasure the Field: Homoeroticism in Modern Indian Advertising
Pleasure or Moral Purpose?: Conflict and Anxiety in Modern Hindi Translations of the Kamasutra
I’m an Excellent Animal: Cows at Play in the Writings of Bahinabai, Rukun Advani, Suniti Namjoshi and Others