Preeto and Other Stories: The Male Gaze in Urdu
Edited by Rakhshanda Jalil
9789386906649 | HB | pp. 204 | 2018 | Niyogi Books
Preeto and Other Stories: The Male Gaze in Urdu edited by Rakhshanda Jalil is a collection of writing depicting the ways male writers in Urdu see women.
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In a world where more women are joining the work force, where ever more are stepping out from their secluded and cloistered world and can be physically seen in larger numbers, this collection seeks to explore how male writers in Urdu view and consequently present or represent the women of their world.
In her Introduction, Rakhshanda Jalil traces the history of ‘writings on women’ by both male and female writers – from the doyens of Urdu literature to contemporary writers dealing with contemporary issues, setting the mood for the stories in this collection and giving the reader a glimpse of what to expect in the ensuing pages.
The collection includes themes which are timeless as well as topics that are an outcome of the times we live in. Starting with two of the four pillars of the Urdu short stories – Rajinder Singh Bedi and Krishan Chander – who can be credited with introducing a realistic portrayal of women in Urdu fiction, the stories in this volume offer multiple ways of ‘seeing’ women.
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About the Editor
The editor writes on issues of literature, culture and heritage. She has published over 15 books, which includes two edited collections of short stories, Urdu Stories and a selection by Pakistani women called Neither Night Nor Day; two co-authored books with Mushirul Hasan, Partners in Freedom: Jamia Millia Islamia (Niyogi Books, 2006). She was co-editor of Third Frame, a journal devoted to literature, culture and society brought out by the Cambridge University Press. She has published six works of translations; the latest being Naked Voices & Other Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto; Panchlight and Other Stories by Hindi writer Phanishwarnath Renu. She runs an organization called Hindustani Awaz, devoted to the popularization of Hindi-Urdu literature and culture.
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