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This book presents the mystical ruminations and literary excellence of Akka Mahadevi, the earliest example of a gender-liberated woman writer, credited with the composition of over four hundred and forty remarkably self-explorative Vachanas. Akka Mahadevi represents a powerfully authentic female voice of the radical, egalitarian Sharana Movement, which questioned the socially established barrier between genders and ushered in a world of socio-cultural equality.
In this book, the author explores the questioning spirit intrinsic to Akka Mahadevi’s life and writings, as she questions the widely held conventional norms: the traditional husband-wife relationship, her parents, elders; she questions Basavanna and Allama for their habituated patriarchal manner of speaking, and she bravely questions her personal deity whom she loves and adores. Apart from discerning a credible ‘history’ and background to Akka’s works, this book makes available a rendition of her selectively profound and memorable Vachana in modern English, that crosses the ?the gulf of language and the gulf of time.
Vaidehi Kathana is the first full-length literary critical study of the fictional, non fictional and poetic narratives of Vaidehi, who is considered to be one of the most celebrated contemporary Indian writers in Kannada. This work reviews, introduces, discusses and interprets all the writings of Vaidehi, which include short stories, poems, essays and a novel. The book examines how this great Indian writer has been reacting and responding to her time and space for the last four decades. The book shows how Vaidehi?s poetics has so subtly blended with her politics thereby creating some of the outstanding masterpieces in poetry and fiction of our times. The book discusses the special features of Vaidehi?s feminist perspectives as well as the uniqueness of her narrative skills. Arguing that Vaidehi?s spiritual triumph is demonstrated in her technical triumph, the book draws the attention of the non-Kannada readers to the entire body of Vaidehi?s writings. Lucidly translated into English by the noted translator O L Nagabhushana Swamy, T P Ashoka?s Vaidehi Kathana provides a meaningful opportunity for the non-Kannada readers to familiarize themselves with one of the greatest contemporary writers of India. T P Ashoka?s Vaidehi Kathana is a significant contribution to modern Indian literary criticism. The book provides an interesting reading not only to the students of literature, researchers and teachers but also appeals to the general readers.