Capturing The Time of Change
Ruchika Sharma
Shaping the Discourse by Ipshita Chanda Stree, Kolkata & School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University, 2015, 398 pp., 550
March 2015, volume 39, No 3

The book is an anthology of writings by women in Bengali, translated into English by various scholars and edited by, Ipshita Chanda and Jayeeta Bagchi. It is an impressive collection of 65 articles, covering almost 80 years in 400-odd pages. This is a judicious attempt to bring together writings of women, capturing the time of change in Indian political and social scenarios of pre-partitioned Bengal. The attempt is also to bring out gender relations along with women’s question in the era of social reforms and on-going debates in Bengal.
The book has two different introductions by both the editors. One introduction focusing specifically on women writing about gender and the other one, chalking out the issue of education and gender in nineteenth-century Bengal from where the book takes off. It is then divided into thematic sections—Part I Breaking the Mould, Part II The Emerging ‘New’ Woman, Part III Refiguring Family and Relationships, Part IV ‘Working’ For The Nation, and Part V Gendering Public Space. The writings are mostly articles, but also a letter to the editor, one letter, two memoirs, and one‘true’ story—all published in contemporary journals.

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