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‘(New) Woman’ as a Flashpoint Within the Nation: The Border as Method in Tales of Modernity

  • Nandita Ghosh
Chapter

Abstract

Using the idea of a border as a method, this chapter examines three late twentieth- to early twenty-first-century literary and news stories that narrate the ‘New Woman’ as a signifier that destabilizes established meanings of femininity within India. Gulnari (Partap Sharma’s Days of the Turban, 1986) breaks codes of respectability when she joins the Akali movement as a revolutionary and interacts with men of different castes and faiths. Akhila (Anita Nair’s Ladies Coupѐ, 2001), a 45-year-old income-tax clerk, breaks conservative Tamilian Brahmanical norms governing her behaviour when she decides to explore if a woman can live feasibly without marriage. In news stories of the Park Street rape case (2012), Suzette Jordan—a single, working mother—challenged a number of norms when she was gang raped: her right to be out late, to accept drinks at a bar, and get a ride home without being raped. These women’s choices serve as flashpoints within a nation, problematizing its self-definition as modern.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nandita Ghosh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LLWPFairleigh Dickinson UniversityMadisonUSA

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