Description - Indira Goswami: Margins and Beyond by Namrata Pathak

This book engages with the life and works of Indira Goswami, the first Assamese woman writer to win the highest national literary award, the Jnanpith Award, in 2001. From sociological treatises to a springboard of a socio-political milieu, Goswami’s texts are intersections of the local and the global, the popular and the canonical. The writer’s penchant for transcending boundaries gives a new contour and shape to the social and cultural domains in her texts. That every character is a representative of the society, that the context comes alive in every evocation of class struggle, power play, caste discrimination and gendered narratives add an interesting semantic load to her texts. While tracing the trajectories discussed above, this book foregrounds Goswami’s act of going beyond the margins of varied kinds, both abstract and concrete, in search of egalitarian and democratic spaces of life.

The book looks at Indira Goswami’s works with a special emphasis on the author situated within the Assamese literary canon. It not only discusses the themes and issues within her writing, but also focuses on the distinct language and style she uses. The volume includes non-fictional prose, excerpts from her short stories and novels, viewpoints of critics, letters and entries from diaries, as well as interviews with Goswami about her writing and personal life. It engages with her works in the context of her multifaceted, almost mythical life, especially her avowed ‘activism’ against animal sacrifice and militancy in her latter career.

Part of the Writer in Context series, this book will be useful for scholars and researchers of Indian literature, Assamese literature, English literature, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, global south studies, gender studies and translation studies.

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