Thursday, February 21, 2013

Whom Can I Tell? How Can I Explain?

Whom Can I Tell? How Can I Explain?
Selected Stories by Saroj Pathak
Translated from the Gujarati and with an introduction by Shirin Kudchedkar
demy octavo pb 108pp ISBN 81-85604-14-2 Rs 170 Jan 2002

These English translations from the Gujarati bring Saroj Pathak's work to a wider audience, giving it the greater attention it deserves. Delving deep into the human mind, the stories depict the pitfalls of communication, the infinite possibilities of misunderstanding, of doubt and despair. At the same time they celebrate the human psyche's ability to bridge these chasms and made connections, of love, understanding, and friendship. Pathak considers the predicaments of both women and men as they grapple with the modernity that has been thrust upon them. Indeed, Pathak's interest in men as well as women characters distinguishes her from many other women novelists.

One of Gujarat's leading women writers, when Saroj Pathak died in 1989 at the age of sixty, she had published seven collections of stories and six novels. Her columns in Samachar and Gujarat Mitra were controversial. Shirin Kudchedkar, a distinguished feminist critic who died in 2009. She edited the Gujarati section of Women Writing in India, 2 vols, edited by Susie Tharu and K. Lalita.

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