An Afternoon With Shakuntala
- Author: Vaidehi, Sukanya Kanarally
- Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
- ISBN: 9788126049981
Regular price Rs. 175.00
An Afternoon with Shakuntala and Other Stories: Vaidehi's stories here substantiate that the tensions involved in exteriorizing interior conflicts and interiorizing the social space take on a significance that far outreaches the aesthetic issues foregrounded by male Navya writers and critics during the 1970s. These stories raise a powerful set of questions in relation to man-woman relationship, asymmetrical sexuality and woman as a speaking subject. For instance, Kusuma's refusal in "Enquiry" to take on the gender identity given by the patriarchal discourse can be read as an attempt at changing kinship relation, an act that may disrupt the very premises on which that discourse stands. Saugandhi is forced to address sexuality only in soliloquies. And then there is Akku, an allegory of feminine discourse itself, in which the mad Akku has not spared any man in town, becomes pregnant every other day, knows who has been sleeping with whom, and refuses to be silenced by the powerful patriarchal order. Further, Shakuntala's is an attempt at narrativising a rare and unique feminist assertion in the face of agony caused by the patriarchal Crown and justified by the equally chauvinistic Poet.