- Author: Urmila Pawar, Veena Deo
- Publisher: Zubaan
- ISBN: 9789381017623
A Dalit, a Buddhist and a feminist: Urmila Pawar’s self-definition as all three identities informs her stories about women who are brave in the face of caste oppression, strong in the face of family pressures, defiant when at the receiving end of insult, and determined when guarding their interests and those of their sisters.
Using the classic short story form with its surprise endings to great effect, Pawar brings to life strong and clever women who drive the reader to laughter, anger, tears or despair. Her harsh, sometimes vulgar and hard-hitting language subverts another stereotype—that of the soft-spoken woman writer.
Pawar’s protagonists may not always be Dalit, and the mood not always one of anger, but caste is never far from the context and informs the subtext of each story. As critic Eleanor Zelliot notes, there is ‘tucked in every story, a note about a Buddhist vihara or Dr Ambedkar.... All her stories come from the Dalit world, revealing the great variety of Dalit life now.
Motherwit was sent out in our Jan 2020 Champaca Book Subscription.
Watch author Urmila Pawar and translator Veena Deo in conversation with Somak Ghoshal here!