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Partition in Fiction: Gendered Perspectives

Isabella Bruschi
Atlantic Publishers and Distributors Pvt Ltd
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"Why looking into a historical event such as the Partition of India, relying on fiction? It is a fact that novelists, even before historians, have contributed to uncover the human tragedy of 1947 and their stories often have a declared intent to give voice to a horror which seems to elude language. The book Partition in Fiction: Gendered Perspectives reveals how the phenomenon of Partition--which meant displacement for millions of people and claimed countless lives--was dealt with in creative works; how novelists, who belonged to different generations and literary tendencies, rendered the material and social, emotional and psychological impact that political decisions had on common men’s and women’s lives; and how, as a consequence, the individuals’ and communities’ self-perception was modified. More specifically, the book offers a gender-based reading of Partition fiction. The underlying hypothesis in fact is that an undifferentiated approach to both men and women writers’ novels would not fully account for the respective literary tools employed to give prominence to the human experience of Partition. Thus, the analysis of the former proceeds mainly along common thematic lines, while the latter are dealt with separately, because of the great variety of strategies their authors adopt, strategies that, anyway, equally concur in the understanding of the fundamental role pressed on women as signifiers of boundaries, and consequently, as the battlefield where the integrity of community and country were contended. Women’s writing foregrounds the feminine point of view vis-à-vis an event that shaped the existence of thousands of women. The book will prove useful to the students and teachers of English literature and those doing research on the theme of Partition in literature."