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Priyamvada Gopal Listings

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1 Priyamvada Gopal
Literary Radicalism in India: Gender, Nation and the Transition to Independence
Routledge; London, UK; 0415329043 / 9780415329040; First Edition; Hardcover; New; New; 
While most readers of contemporary Indian literature in English and in translation are familiar with the idea of 'freedom at midnight', much less is known about the turbulent period of artistic and cultural transformation that characterised the years leading up to and following Independence in 1947. This study examines one of the most influential - and yet relatively unexamined - literary movements in the twentieth century on the Indian subcontinent. Focusing on writers who were affiliated to the Progressive Writers Association during India's transition from colony to nation, Literary radicalism in India examines in detail some of the most important and controversial works of Indian literature. Featuring historicised readings of the fiction, essays and films of such prominent figures as Rashid Janan, Sajjad Zaheer, Ismat Chugtai, Saadat Hasan Manto and Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, the book examines the connections between aesthetics and politics in the context of nation-formation in India and Pakistan. It argues, that gender, in this context, was not reducible to questions of 'representing women' but that it was a constitutive point of contestation in the struggle to define 'India'. This thoroughly researched study is a must for all those interested in the impact of nationalism, feminism and social movements on literature, and provides a timely intervention into current debates about Marxism, nationalism and modernity. Contents Acknowledgements Note on translations Introduction 1. The critical spirit: decolonisation and the Progressive Writers Association 2. Gender, modernity and the politics of space: Rashid Jahan, 'Angareywali' 3. Habitations of woamnhood: Ismat Chugtai's secret history of modernity 4. Dangerous bodies: masculinity, morality and social transformation in Manto 5. Straight talk or spicy masala? Citizenship, humanism and affect in the cinematic work of K.A. Abbas Afterword: 'Sustaining faith' and the legacy of Progressive writing Notes Appendix Bibliography Index. Printed Pages: 190. 027061

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