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This anthology of stories and poems challenges the stereotypical image of women, particularly Asian women, as passive and submissive. While the women in these stories come from diverse cultural backgrounds, their voices give poignant expression to many issues which are common-motherhood, family dynamics, economic deprivation, sexuality-questioning the patriarchal authority under which they lead their lives. Drawing upon the work of over sixty authors-from China, Mongolia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Macau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and many others-the book offers a filigree of existential concerns and overlapping cultural patterns reflected in the literatures of these nations, transcending political boundaries.
The creativity of the women writers represented in Speaking for Myself poses an alternative image of the Asian woman-strong, innovative and inspiring-and opens possibilities for dialogue across borders through literature.