Literature is considered the best source to understand and combat social issues. Throughout history, radical authors have yielded a pen to fight injustice. To educate and to inspire. Every piece you read has been influenced by a political or social issue of the times. In recent years, literature has become one of the most important tools to fight social mores.
Books are not just for enjoyment, although there is nothing wrong with reading feel-good books. If you are looking to be more aware, follow me through the #CauseAChatter series as I bring to you some great book recommendations on a range of issues.
What is #CauseAChatter
Blogging with a purpose. Using your voice and platform to raise awareness about a cause you feel strongly about. That is the thought behind the Cause a Chatter campaign by Blogchatter.
This year, Blogchatter is championing three causes – Mental Health Talks, Gender Talks, and Environmental Talks. All through 2020, I used my platform to raise awareness about allergies. In 2021, I would be talking about my favorite subject – books in alignment with the causes. I would be sharing book recommendations on all three causes. Books across genres. Not the usual suspects but books that are under the radar. Lesser known books that need to be read.
Gender Talks is my first pick for the Cause A Chatter campaign. Over the next three months, I would be sharing recommendations on empowering literature that inspires. And some that shock. Fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, biographies, poetry, and essays. The trailblazers and unsung heroes. Diverse writing from India and around the world. Contemporary or historical works by women, men, and non-binaries.
Essential Reading to Understand Feminism in India
Feminism is a broad topic and each of us has our own interpretation of the term. When we think of books on feminism and gender equality, We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tops everyone’s list. But there are books about topics closer to home. Topics you and I as Indians can relate to. And writings we are often unaware of.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. It is impossible to compile all the books on feminism in one list. These books that might be difficult to read. But read we must.
Chup: Breaking the Silence About India’s Women by Deepa Narayan
We pride ourselves is being strong, independent women. But are we really?
Chup: Breaking the Silence About India’s Women by Deepa Narayan is a meticulously researched book, based on 600 detailed interviews with women and men across India’s metros. It identifies key habits that dominate an Indian women’s everyday life. Irrespective of class, education, or financial status. Quoting the author “Chup will hold a mirror to yourself – and you may not like what you see.“
Seeing Like A Feminist by Nivedita Menon
“Feminism is not about that final moment of triumph but about the gradual transformation of the social field so decisively that old markers shift forever.“
The world through a feminist lens. Seeing Like A Feminist by Nivedita Menon covers a range of topics including social structure, class politics, and religion in India. It is also about the global and intersectional movements of feminism. A book that forces you to think.Essential Reading to Understand Feminism in India – Non-Fiction Book Recommendations @CindyAnnDSilva @nooranand @events_showcase @RREStudios #BlogaberryDazzle #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
Lifting the Veil: Selected Writings of Ismat Chughtai
Allow me to re-introduce the grand lady of Indian literature, Ismat Chugtai. One who explored female sexuality through her writings at a time when it was considered blasphemous. It is difficult to pick one single book. But if you wish to begin reading her works, Lifting the Veil is a great start. A collection of twenty-one of her best non-fiction and fiction writing.
Are you are wondering why her book features on the list of lesser-known ones? Simply because a lot many are unaware of her works. We need to celebrate her more. We owe her that and a whole lot more.
Writing Caste/Writing Gender: Reading Dalit Women’s Testimonios by Sharmila Rege
Dalit feminism is often presumed to be silent. But it is far from It. It is rich, powerful, and layered.
Writing Caste/Writing Gender by Sharmila Rege features extensive extracts from eight Dalit women’s life-narratives or testimonios. Across the years from 1920s until today. It explores issues such as food, hunger, community, caste, labor, education, violence, and more.
What are your favorite non-fictions by Indian authors on Feminism? Do share about them in the comments below.Essential Reading to Understand Feminism in India – Non-Fiction Book Recommendations @blogchatter #CauseAChatter #GenderTalks #BookChatter #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
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