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Joothan: An Untouchable's Life

Omprakash Valmiki; Translated from the Hindi by Arun Prabha Mukherjee

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Paper, 208 pages,
ISBN: 978-0-231-12973-2
$23.00 / £16.00

July, 2003
Cloth, 208 pages,
ISBN: 978-0-231-12972-5
$70.00 / £48.50

"As an editor and writer, Valmiki has done much to stake out a space for Dalit literary expression, well exemplified by this narrative. Fascinating cultural and personal history." — Booklist

"Mukherjee offers English-language readers an accessible translation of Valmiki's engaging memoir that will prove invaluable." — Maggie Ronkin, The Journal of Asian Studies

"A “must read" for courses in postcolonial, cultural, and South Asian studies." — Mohd. Asaduddin, H-Asia

"A searing memoir of the life of a sensitive and intelligent Dalit youth in independent India. Joothan tells us how he overcame contempt, humiliation, and violence to gain an education and join the slowly growing ranks of Dalit intellectuals in India. Full of vivid sketches of people and events, this book is indispensable to those who would understand modern South Asia, and valuable for those interested in gaining a comparative understanding of social discrimination and its effects worldwide." — Sumit Guha, Brown University

"A moving evocation of the underside of life in India. . . . An excellent translation from the Hindi with a useful introduction to the life of a man who deliberately uses his name, Valmiki, to signify his identification with the lowly scavenger even though he has climbed up to status as a middle class intellectual." — Eleanor Zelliot, Carleton College, author of From Untouchable to Dalit: Essays on the Ambedkarite Movement

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About the Author

Omprakash Valmiki is the author of two collections of poetry and one of short stories. As editor and publisher of numerous magazines, he has played a vital role in the propagation of Dalit literature.Arun Prabha Mukherjee is professor of English at York University in Toronto. She is the author of Postcolonialism: My Living and Oppositional Aesthetics: Readings from a Hyphenated Space.

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