Rebels, Wives, Saints
Designing Selves and Nations in Colonial Times
Distributed for Seagull Books
In Rebels, Wives, Saints, acclaimed scholar Tanika Sarkar continues her revolutionary scholarship on women, religion, and nationhood in colonial Bengal. The colonial universe Sarkar describes in Rebels, Wives, Saints centers around symbols of women as both defiled and deified, exemplified in the idea of woman as widow and woman as goddess. The nation, Sarkar explains, is imagined as a woman-goddess within a country comprising plural cultural traditions. Sarkar also broadens the discussion to consider male reformers who battle Hindu conservatives, a Hindu novelist who idealizes nationalism as a means for overcoming Muslim influence, male-dominant social norms, and theatre and censorship.
Throughout the book, Sarkar deploys her trademark focus on small, specific, emotional defining moments in order to arrive at a larger, compelling picture that reveals how people actually feel and experience life in Bengal.