Author: Krishna Baldev VaidTranslator(s)/ Edito: Sagaree SenguptaPublisher: Oxford University PressYear: 2007Language: EnglishPages: 264ISBN/UPC (if available): 019569199
The Diary of a Maidservant is a masterly representation of a sensitive young domestic servant and her world. The novel sparkles with ironic humor, subtle insights, social relevance, and narrative brilliance.Shano, the teenage protagonist, drops out of school to work as a domestic so that her indigent family can survive. At a casual suggestion from a sympathetic Biji, she begins to keep a record of her musings and doings. Gradually, she gets addicted to this habit and begins to enjoy probing her own mind and the motives of her various employers and fellow domestics. She begins to introspect and develop a deeper relationship with her own self in addition to analyzing her experience of the external world. The reader watches the growth of a fine consciousness into self-awareness, as well as the emergence of an entire milieu, seen from the point of a view of a precocious adolescent. Shanti, alias Shano is an engaging addition to the gallery of great fictional heroines.The novel, an absorbing read, and the analytically rich introduction by Ashok Vajpeyi, a distinguished poet and academic will appeal to students and scholars of literature in general and Indian literature in translation in particular, comparative literature, gender studies, cultural studies, as well as general readers.