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Literature, Gender, and the Trauma of Partition : The Paradox of Independence (Hardcover) (Debali
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British decolonization of the subcontinent was achieved at the cost of Partition which created two independent nations, India and Pakistan. The human cost of the Partition has been glossed over in developmental narratives of the nation-states of India and Pakistan. The memory of this political catastrophe has lived in the literary archives of the subcontinent for the last seventy years, and those archives have only recently begun to be excavated.
This book examines the neglected narratives of the Partition of India in 1947, particularly from the Bengal region, to study the traces left by this foundational trauma on the national and regional cultural imaginaries in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. To arrive at a more complex understanding of how Partition experiences of violence, migration, and cultural disorientation shaped postcolonial societies and subjectivities in South Asia, the author analyses multiple cartographies of displacement-related uncertainty in the post-Partition period –through novels and short stories. The book illuminates how contingencies of political geography cut across personal and collective histories, and how the dislocations were variously marked and mediated by literature. The book expands gender issues to notions of masculinity and marginalization of minorities and includes the child’s experience during Partition.
A valuable addition to the growing field of Partition studies, this book will be of interst to academics working on South Asian history, gender studies and literature.