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Distributed for Zubaan Books

The Fabulous Feminist

A Suniti Namjoshi Reader

The Fabulous Feminist brings together for the first time in one volume a vast range of renowned feminist thinker Suniti Namjoshi’s writings, starting with her most famous collection, Feminist Fables, and including excerpts from Saint Suniti and the Dragon, Mothers of Maya Dip, From the Bedside Book of Nightmares, and her series of “Aditi” books for children, such as Aditi and the Thames Dragon.

Here readers will find her fables, poetry, prose autobiography, and children’s stories, works that are both playful and deeply serious. In these beautifully composed and entertaining works, she ingeniously reworks fairytales, Greek and Sanskrit mythology, literary monsters such as Grendel’s Mother, and icons such as Saint Sebastian, all stitched together with her vivid imagination and wisdom. Writing with insight and wit about power, about inequality, and about oppression, Namjoshi brilliantly uses language and the literary tradition to expose what she finds absurd and unacceptable in modern life. This provocative and entertaining collection will be welcomed by Namjoshi’s fans and admirers of the feminist intellectual tradition.

Born in Mumbai in 1941, Suniti Namjoshi is an important figure in contemporary Indian literature in English, a writer whose deep engagement with issues of gender, sexual orientation, cultural identity and human rights infuses everything she writes.

252 pages | 5 x 8 | © 2012

Gender and Sexuality

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

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“Suniti Namjoshi is a fabulist who is never preachy. A feminist who is never humorless. A poet who is never arcane. An intellectual who is never pedantic. . . . Quirky, funny, intellectually agile, capable of making connections between the mundane and the metaphysical, adept at sniffing out the archetypal in the culturally particular, her works point to a mind that is as engaged as it is engaging.”

Arundhathi Subramaniam

Table of Contents

Feminist Fables
    From the Panchatantra
    Case History
    The Princess
    The Ugly One
    The Female Swan
    A Moral Tale
    The Monkey and the Crocodiles
    The Giantess
    The Snake and the Mongoose
    The Secret Wisdom
    The Debt
    Broadcast Live
    The Grace of the Goddess
    The Hare and the Turtle
    The Fox and the Stork
    Of Cats and Bells
    The Oyster Child
    Further Adventures of the One-eyed Monkey
    The Dower
    The Mouse and the Lion
    The Doll
    The Woman Who Lived on the Beach
    The Saurian Chronicles
The Authentic Lie
    From Discourse with the Dead
    From Discourse with the Dead
    Lady Flora
    Minimal Murder
    Glass Coffins
    The Female Poet
The Bedside Book of Nightmares
    From From Baby F with Much Love
    Snow White and Rose Green
    It Was Not Pygmalion
    The Fur Seals as Shown on Television
    From Caliban’s Notebook
    Snapshots of Caliban
The Conversations of Cow
    I The Manifestation
The Jackass and the Lady
    Homage to Circe
    From the Travels of Gulliver
    Lines Written in Dejection
Flesh and Paper
    All the Words
    Lost Species
The Blue Donkey Fables
    The Blue Donkey
    The One-eyed Monkey Goes into Print
    Three Angel Poems
    Dusty Distance
    Poem against Poets
    The Jacana’s Tale
    The Three Piglets
    The Sinner
    The Vulgar Streak
    If Somehow I Might . . .
    The Bride
    Look! Medusa!
    Among Tigers
    In the Garden
    To Be a Poet
    Stumbling Block
    Transit Gloria
The Mothers of Maya Diip
    Chapter 11: A Loyal Mayan
    Chapter 12: Ashan Babies
    Chapter 13: Loathsome reptile
Saint Suniti and the Dragon
    Section III: “’Tis the Eye of Childhood . . .”
    Section IV: The Trials of the Saint
    Beauty Incarnate and the Supreme Singer: For Oscar Wilde
    By the River: For Virginia Woolf
    Blood and Water
    Bluebeard’s Way
Building Babel
    Chapter I: Piece for Soloists: What the Sisters Said
    Chapter VI: Patched Piece
Goja: An Autobiographical Myth
    Chapter 1: Goja
    Among Tulips
    Deaf Eurydice: For Suki d. 27 July 1997
    Come Away
    The Saint and the Tiger
    For Anna Mani (1918–2001)
    Mary’s Dream
    Section 6: The Old Woman’s Secrets
    The Dwarfs
    Twelve Ways of Looking at a Giant
New Work
    From Magpie
    Meat Eater’s Poem
    The Rhino and the Unicorn
    Neither Mr. Darwin nor the Farmer
    From The Glass Bird
    Striped Peril
    Summer Days
    For Kishore
    The Wave
    Time Trickles
    A Cautionary Tale?
    From A Tapestry

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