Centring Women Protagonists
Shanta Gokhale
TYANANTAR (THEREAFTER) by Saniya Oxford Novellas, Oxford University Press, 2014, 140 pp., 250
August 2014, volume 38, No 8

The novella Tyanantar, translated by Maya Pandit as Thereafter, belongs to one of Saniya’s 13 short story collections of which the first appeared in 1980 and the most recent in 2010. Over and above her collections, many of her stories, published in women’s magazines and Diwali specials, remain uncollected to date. So we are looking at a writer of considerable prolificacy. Saniya’s work has been much awarded by the State and literary organizations, and her voice has travelled beyond Maharashtra too, through translations in Hindi, Kannada, Urdu, Gujarati, Bengali, English and German. Saniya centres her stories round women protagonists, belonging chiefly to the middle-class. Some have small or big jobs but many are homemakers. The crises they face are located not in their workplaces but at home. The co-players in these low-key domestic dramas are husbands, offspring, in-laws, mothers, siblings. Friends and neighbours form the outer circle of this cast of characters.

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