Ashapurna Devi, one of the foremost Indian women writers, was born in colonial Bengal in 1909. She lived until 1995, witnessing the transitions and transformations that took place in society, culture, and family life during the colonial times and after India gained political independence. Recognized and honoured for her novels, short stories, and poetry in Bengali, Ashapurna wrote more than 240 novels, over 2,000 stories, and 62 books for children, along with many other unpublished essays and letters. Her stories are woven around her familiar world but are universal in appeal. Through her writings, Ashapurna casts an ironical eye on the patriarchal social norms. Exploring Ashapurna's correspondence, essays, and interviews, this book opens new dimensions to our understanding of her writings. Her non-fiction works, which reveal her concern with the condition of women in society and their role in the family, help us to better understand the mind and art of one of the finest writers of our time.
Dipannita Datta is Lecturer, Post-Graduate English, Centre for Studies in Book Publishing, University of Calcutta.
Preface ; A Critical Overview ; Silence and Its Contours ; I. Ashapurna Devi: Her Life, Private and Public (1909-1995) ; II. Resisting Silence: Ashapurna Challenging Hegemony? ; The Voices of Invisibility ; I. Essays by Ashapurna Devi ; Prelude to Ashapurna's Essays ; Society and the Role of Women ; Present Education System and Women's Self-sufficiency ; Girls of Kolkata-Then and Now ; Laws Are Not the Sole Answer to Problems ; Women in the Service of Humanity ; II. Letters from and to Ashapurna Devi ; The Other Side of Love ; Conversations with Ashapurna Devi ; Subhadra Urmila Majumdar ; Partha Chatterjee ; Chitra Deb ; Jhara Basu ; Enakshi Chattyopadhyay ; Annexures ; A Brief Chronological Biography of Ashapurna Devi ; From Ashapurna's Diary ; List of Translated Works of Ashapurna Devi in English ; Index ; About the Author