13 May 2008

AUGUST 2008: NEW BOOK FROM AMIT CHAUDHURI


CLEARING A SPACE: REFLECTIONS ON INDIA, LITERATURE AND CULTURE, by Amit Chaudhuri

To the many admirers of his fiction, Amit Chaudhuri seems all the more remarkable because of the excellence and accessibility of his non-fiction. Clearing a Space brings together many of Chaudhuri’s best essays, written over the past decade in journals such as the London Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement. This body of his work has been widely praised and reveals a literary project of great value in understanding Indian and global modernity.

‘This extraordinary and wide-ranging collection, through a series of highly-focused aper├žus, puts in question the key terms of self-understanding of much modern literature. This and much else makes this book a treasure trove of acute and thought-provoking perceptions.’ Charles Taylor

‘Amit Chaudhuri...asks hard questions of himself as well as others, and he engages us as readers with the warmth and acuity of his observations across a wonderful range of writing.’ Gillian Beer

‘... a wonderful key to the understanding of the vitality and specificity of Indian modernity and of the modern transformation of Indian civilization...worth the serious attention of scholars in the social sciences as well as the humanities.’ Shmuel Eisenstadt

‘Whether making music or writing prose, Amit Chaudhuri offers a distinctive spiritual history of modernity. These collected meditations—which are as elegantly fastidious as they are intellectually adventurous—confirm him as one of our most provocative and consistently interesting artists.’ Pankaj Mishra

A BLACK KITE BOOK / ISBN 81-7824-237-0 / Rs 395 / 325pp / Hardback / August 2008 / For sale in South Asia only / Copublished with Peter Lang

NEW IN PAPERBACK!


THE SCANDAL OF EMPIRE: INDIA AND THE CREATION OF IMPERIAL BRITAIN, by Nicholas B. Dirks

‘This is a brilliant work of historical excavation … Dirks shows that, contrary to the imperialist ideologues then as now, the scandals of conquest, violence, and oppression were at its center, not its incidental sideshow. Civilizing the “native” necessarily entailed the practice of barbarism, the assertion of imperial sovereignty required the exercise of despotism.’ Gyan Prakash

‘…this lucid and masterful interpretive essay serves as a timely reminder that modern empires, caught in ideological contradictions of their own making, are fundamentally unpleasant, oppressive, and immoral formations. A stimulating contribution to contemporary debates.’ Dipesh Chakrabarty

ISBN 81-7824-238-9 / Rs 395 / Copublished with Harvard University Press / For sale in South Asia only

CINEMA AND SECULARISM


LIMITING SECULARISM: THE ETHICS OF COEXISTENCE IN INDIAN LITERATURE AND FILM by Priya Kumar

Limiting Secularism is a book for our times. Though scrupulously specific to the context of post-Independence India—and invaluable for that reason—its provocations resonate well beyond the boundaries of the unique nation-space. Working through but pushing well beyond the secularism debates in India, Kumar asks the vital question that few have as yet attempted: what vision and modality of the ethical life will enable those of opposed faiths to live well together?

A work of this kind is not undertaken lightly. Kumar’s assumption of responsibility is everywhere apparent in the seriousness with which she engages the reality of religious violence at multiple levels, theoretical, historical and critical, as the urgent reason for exploring the imaginative possibilities of living otherwise. Intellectual work at such a level of challenge and commitment does nothing less than open the doors of the mind.” Rajeswari Sunder Rajan

"Limiting Secularism is part of the emerging discourse on rethinking secularism in the wake of fundamentalisms of all stripes. Priya Kumar’s cogent, historically grounded, theoretically sophisticated, comparative readings of South Asian literary texts and films makes a significant contribution to contemporary cultural engagements with religion, cosmopolitanism, secularism, and ethics. Kumar’s book is truly superlative in terms of the writing—the clarity, the fluidity, the effortlessness with which dense material is presented is quite an accomplishment.” Sangeeta Ray

ISBN 81-7824-234-6 / Rs 695 / 320pp / hardback / published May 2008 / Co-published by the University of Minnesota Press / For sale in South Asia only

MEERA KOSAMBI'S THIRD BOOK WITH PERMANENT BLACK



FEMINIST VISION OR 'TREASON AGAINST MEN'? Kashibai Kanitkar and the Engendering of Marathi Literature


edited and translated by
Meera Kosambi



Kashibai Kanitkar (1861–1948) was the first major woman writer in Marathi. She was largely self-taught and keenly conscious of the benefits of women’s education. She promoted this and other emancipatory measures for women through her prolific and wide-ranging writings—both fiction and non-fiction—deploying them as a mode of social reform discourse.

The present book includes translations of most of Kashibai’s works: both her novels (in abridged form); a review of Pandita Ramabai’s American travelogue; long extracts from Kashibai’s episodic autobiographical narrative as well as from her biography of India’s first woman doctor, Dr Anandibai Joshee; and an article tracing the history of women’s education in Maharashtra.

A comprehensive introduction by Meera Kosambi contextualizes these texts and situates Kashibai within her social and literary milieu.

Rs 595/ hardback / 390pp / ISBN 81-7824-216-8

12 May 2008

THE BIRTH OF A CLASSICAL TRADITION


NEW IN PAPERBACK!

TWO MEN AND MUSIC: NATIONALISM IN THE MAKING OF AN INDIAN CLASSICAL TRADITION by Janaki Bakhle

“A pioneering book that helps to relocate the towering Hindu nationalists Bhatkhande and Paluskar—from the restricted world of music grammarians to the wider social history of colonial India. A very important contribution.” Partho Datta

“Janaki Bakhle’s book opens up a completely new area of research in modern South Asian history. This pioneering history of the making of modern North Indian classical music is exemplary for the very fine sense of balance with which it holds together both respect and criticism for the past it so brilliantly restores.” Dipesh Chakrabarty

Rs 350 / 350pp / paperback / ISBN 81-7824-235-4 / for sale in South Asia only / Copublished by Oxford University Press, New York