A powerful feminist novel of the aftermath of the Partition by a legend of Hindi literature
Delhi, 1947. The city surges with Partition refugees. Eager to escape the welter of pain and confusion that surrounds her, young Krishna applies on a whim to a position at a preschool in the princely state of Sirohi, itself on the cusp of transitioning into the republic of India. She is greeted on arrival with condescension for her refugee status, and treated with sexist disdain by Zutshi Sahib, the man charged with hiring for the position. Undaunted, Krishna fights back. But when an opportunity to become governess to the child maharaja Tej Singh Bahadur presents itself-and with it a chance to make Sirohi her new home once and for all-there is no telling how long this idyll will last.
Part novel, part memoir, part feminist anthem, A Gujarat Here, A Gujarat There is not only a powerful tale of Partition loss and dislocation but also charts the odyssey of a spirited young woman determined to build a new identity for herself on her own terms.
"In scintillatingly rich and poetic language, the semiautobiographical novelA Gujarat Here, a Gujarat There portrays the human dimensions of the partition of India in 1947 and the complex questions about belonging that it provoked as entire provinces, populations, and kingdoms were rearranged and incorporated into new political structures. In this translation, Daisy Rockwell has reflected the complex linguistic layering of the original, especially the influence of Gujarati and Punjabi on the Hindi of the author, Krishna Sobti, which reveals much about the characters' shifting identities. Skillfully navigating the novel's complex shifts in tense, perspective, and persona, Rockwell's nuanced translation presents us with a much-needed modernist masterpiece about one woman living through a defining, fractious moment in world history and forging a new identity." --Scaglione Prize selection committee
About the Author
Krishna Sobti is one of the most respected writers in the Hindi canon. She won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1980 for her novel Zindaginama, and in 1996 was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, the highest award of the Akademi. In 2017, she received the Jnanpith Award for her contribution to Indian literature.
Daisy Rockwell is an artist, writer and translator living in northern New England, USA. Apart from her essays on literature and art, she has written Upendranath Ashk: A Critical Biography, The Little Book of Terror and the novel Taste. Her highly acclaimed translations include, among others, Upendranath Ashk's Falling Walls and Bhisham Sahni's Tamas, published in Penguin Classics.