Toru Dutt (1856-77) pioneered the Indian women's English literary tradition. Conversant in four languages - English, French, Bengali, and Sanskrit - Toru was a novelist, poet, essayist, and translator. When she died at the age of twenty-one, she left behind an impressive collection of one, she left behind an impressive collection of writing. This volume brings together her two novels, a book of poetry, and a selection of her letters. Her writings give voice to the aspirations of a sensitive young woman trying to negotiate the cross-cultural complexities and nuances of an Indo-European encounter.
Skillful crafted, her fiction and poetry reflect a passionate commitment of theme, character, and setting. The letters are charmingly written, limpid in style, and span the self-reflexive experiences of a young and impressionable mind grappling with the socio-political realities of British India.
A Well-researched critical introduction by Chandani Lokuge analyses Toru Dutt's perceptions of her writing in the postcolonial context. It addresses questions about where Dutt belongs; how far her life and writing illuminate the emergence of an imperial, and later postcolonial, modernity; and what her extraordinary literary identity means in today's global context. The volume includes an author's biography, detailed explanatory notes, and an insightful commentary by Prithwindranath Mukherjee, whose translation of Toru's French novel into English is also part of the volume.
This anthology will be of interest to researchers, students, and teachers of English, Women's Studies, History, and Postcolonial Literature, as also the general reader.
About the Author :
Chandani Lokuge is Senior Lecturer in English, and Director of the Centre of Postcolonial Writing,
Monash University, Australia. She is editor of the Classic Reissue series of
Indian women's autobiographies and fiction written in English, published by OUP,
and author of the novels Turtle Nest and If the Moon Smiled.
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