Reading the South Asian Woman
Payel C. Mukherjee and Arnapurna Rath
THE WOMAN WHO FLEW by Nasreen Jahan Penguin Books, New Delhi, India, 2014, 376 pp., Price not stated
August 2014, volume 38, No 8

The Bangladeshi writer Nasreen Jahan’s The Woman Who Flew (2012) is a novel translated from the original Bengali Urukkoo (1993) by Kaiser Haq. The title of the novel indicates an act of ‘flying’ from the gross and unrefined in search of the ‘sublime’. The novel depicts the realities of life and the significance of art in the life of those people who live with the harshness of everyday existence. Jahan’s narrative captures the journey of a Muslim woman, Nina who escapes from the monotony of marital life in quest for a deeper connection with her inner self, exploring the ‘artist’ that remains hidden within her mundane existence. It opens a dialogue between the binaries of reality and abstract with Nina’s ‘grotesque’ physical experiences on one side and her emancipated imagination for the creative/artistic on the other.

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