Writing Resistance

The Rhetorical Imagination of Hindi Dalit Literature

Laura R. Brueck

Columbia University Press

Writing Resistance

Google Preview

Pub Date: May 2014

ISBN: 9780231166058

240 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£25.00

Pub Date: May 2014

ISBN: 9780231166041

240 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00£70.00

Pub Date: May 2014

ISBN: 9780231537568

240 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $31.99£25.00

Writing Resistance

The Rhetorical Imagination of Hindi Dalit Literature

Laura R. Brueck

Columbia University Press

Writing Resistance is the first close study of the growing body of contemporary Hindi-language Dalit (low caste) literature in India. The Dalit literary movement has had an immense sociopolitical and literary impact on various Indian linguistic regions, yet few scholars have attempted to situate the form within contemporary critical frameworks. Laura R. Brueck's approach goes beyond recognizing and celebrating the subaltern speaking, emphasizing the sociopolitical perspectives and literary strategies of a range of contemporary Dalit writers working in Hindi.

Brueck explores several essential questions: what makes Dalit literature Dalit? What makes it good? Why is this genre important, and where does it oppose or intersect with other bodies of Indian literature? She follows the debate among Dalit writers as they establish a specifically Dalit literary critical approach, underscoring the significance of the Dalit literary sphere as a "counterpublic" generating contemporary Dalit social and political identities. Brueck then performs close readings of contemporary Hindi Dalit literary prose narratives, focusing on the aesthetic and stylistic strategies deployed by writers whose class, gender, and geographic backgrounds shape their distinct voices. By reading Dalit literature as literature, this study unravels the complexities of its sociopolitical and identity-based origins.
Writing Resistance is an original and timely contribution to scholarship on Hindi literature, modern Indian literature and Dalit studies. The work is well researched, using a judicious combination of Hindi and English sources and provides, for the first time in English, an overview of the central concerns of Hindi Dalit literature as both a political and aesthetic movement. Allison Busch, Columbia University
Brueck's incisive book richly maps the multiple layers of print, public, and cultural performance of a Hindi Dalit countersphere in contemporary India. She provides new perspectives on the processes by which Hindi Dalit authors have been negotiating and reclaiming authority over literary spaces, its boundaries, and the power of representation. Her work documents a complex collage of the diverse, fractured, and distinct Dalit literary lineage in Hindi. Charu Gupta, University of Delhi
The search for a scholarly, perceptive and timely interpretation of what is going on in the world of Hindi Dalit literature ends right here. In a wide-ranging investigation of origins, motivations and genres, Laura Brueck addresses the fundamental questions of what makes this literature Dalit, and what makes it literary; her fine book offers a sympathetic and yet penetrating guide to a vivacious new canon of Hindi prose. Rupert Snell, University of Texas at Austin
A welcome addition to the corpus of Dalit Studies, South Asian Studies, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Comparative Literature, and World Literature. Juned Shaikh, South Asian History and Culture
She offers us an incredibly rich and thought-provoking entree into the development, concerns, and artistry of this important literature. Nancy M. Martin, Journal of Hindu Studies Vol. 9, no. 3
Laura R. Brueck pulls off one of the more difficult things that can be achieved in academic writing: explaining complex theoretical concepts in an accessible, immediate and eminently readable manner. Mridula Nath Chakraborty, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol 40, No. 2
Acknowledgments
A Note on Transliteration
Introduction
Part 1. Mapping the Hindi Dalit Literary Sphere
1. The Hindi Dalit Counterpublic
2. The Problem of Premchand
3. Hindi Dalit Literary Criticism
Part 2. Reading Hindi Dalit Literature
4. Good Dalits and Bad Brahmins
5. Dialect and Dialogue in the Margins
6. Alienation and Loss in the Dalit Experience of Modernity
7. Re-scripting Rape
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Laura R. Brueck is associate professor of Hindi literature and South Asian studies at Northwestern University. In 2013, she published a collection of English translations of Hindi author Ajay Navaria's short stories titled Unclaimed Terrain: Stories by Ajay Navaria. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters about Hindi Dalit literature.