The volume helps to make visible women writers of undivided Bengal. Why was so little known about these writers? Do dominating interests ‘marginalize, sometimes even obliterate other histories’? Or, equally intriguing, is it the case that ‘who was more silent and invisible where and who was less so, depended on the location and orientation of the listener/viewer’? These are some of the questions that propelled the editors, Shaheen Akhtar and Moushumi Bhowmik, to undertake this task.
Divided into two parts, Part 1, Women’s Writings, offers the contributions of eleven women: Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain and her contemporaries like Khairunnesa Khatun, Mrs. M. Rahman, M. Fatema Khanam and Nurunnesa Khatun Vidyavinodini. About twenty years later, came Akhtar Mahal Syeda Khatun, Fazilatunnesa, Mahmuda Khatun Siddiqua, and Razia Khatun Chowdhurani. Two women who were associated with Begum Rokeya were Shamsunnahar Mahmud, a writer and later a policy maker in Bangaldesh, and Sufia Kamal, the famous poet and activist.
In our Gender Section, and in the Stree Lists. Hardcover, 440 pages, Rs 600. ISBN 81-85604-57-6.