This year's Jaipur Literary Festival was as large as ever. Meaning: it was the largest-ever gathering of people from all around the world to discuss books, current affairs, and politics (because Indian literary festivals are never free of that.). And, while I haven't written a summary of my favorite panels like last year (read JLF 2018) I was invited to participate in two events. One was on literary translation and the other was on literary criticism. A few details follow.
My latest book review is of an anthology translated from Urdu to English, edited by Dr Rakhshanda Jalil. Preeto and Other Stories comprises of 13 short stories written by male Urdu writers and examining the male gaze in contemporary Urdu fiction. Through these short stories about women, we see how male Urdu writers have viewed women and their place in society. I've often said and written how many male writers — both in the East and in the West — struggle to depict women well in fiction. It's hard enough for women writers to do justice to all that is unsaid
An essay published at Scroll.in: "How should we view the literary works of these men? How can we improve gender parity in literature so that women writers have just as much intellectual and creative authority? How can we ensure inclusivity and intersectionality in our literature so that the complexities and ambiguities of gendered power are better portrayed and understood?"