I have always admired Ruth Vanita’s work on account of its articulate lucidity. Re¬viewing her translation of short stories by Mannu Bhandari, Rajee Seth and Archana Varma from Hindi to English promised to be an exciting possibility.
However, I found Vanita’s introduction unbearably heavy, making a lot of claims for what are extremely slight narratives. Despite raising many issues in her introduction, Vanita continues to put the cart before the horse. While I do not dispute her argument that in popular patriarchal perception women’s honour is made to reside entirely in their ‘genitalia’, the claims made about women’s issues being raised through women’s fiction in India are not entirely sub¬stantiated by the translated short stories that form part of this particular anthology.