March 30, 2020
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Real-Life Fiction

A brave venture to take on the ways in which power plays out in intimate spaces.

Real-Life Fiction
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
A Space Of Her Own: Personal Narratives Of Twelve Women
By Jashodhara Bagchi
Edited By Leela Gulati
Sage Pages: 274; Rs 340
Memory contains the map of identity. In these narratives, women delve into what might seem to be insignificant, personal stories, and through their recollections, construct the selves they are today. It’s a brave venture to take on the ways in which power plays out in intimate spaces. And as the stories unravel the way families keep women out, the tremendous odds against which they fight to assert their identities are again made evident.

These aren’t only stories of victims, it could be the stuff of fiction. Like the 90-year-old woman who decides to become a sati, but wonders why her daughter-in-law has not turned up for the event. The daughter-in-law does not mince words. You’re buying your ticket to heaven, she tells her, but what happens when the police come with handcuffs? There are other recognisable characters like Tagore or the Syrian Christian patriarch. ‘The personal is political’ isn’t just an empty slogan. It is the most important insight that the women’s movement has contributed to the world. Here, the boundaries between the personal and the political constantly overlap, lending nuance and depth to their narratives.

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