Dr. Antonia Navarro-Tejero has lived and lectured in the USA, India and Spain. She is Associate Professor of English Literature at Universidad de Cordoba (Spain), and a 2004-2005 Fulbright scholar at University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of the books Matrimonio y patriacado en autoras de la diaspora hindu (2001), Githa Hariharan: Revisions of a Storyteller (forthcoming by Foundation Books), and is currently working on a collection of interviews with Indian women activists. She has presented papers at conferences around the world and published essays on issues of subalternity.2005 0-7734-5995-2
This book analyzes the intersections of gender, caste and the (re)telling of history in the narratives by two contemporary South-Asian women writers in English of Malayalam descent, Arundhati Roy and Githa Hariharan. The authors have chosen two novels: The Thousand Faces of Night (1992)– winner of the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book– by Githa Hariharan; and The God of Small Things– winner of the Booker Prize in 1997– by Arundhati Roy. Githa Hariharan represents the reality for a considerable section of Indian womanhood inserted in a brahminical, high class environment, and Arundhati Roy depicts the fatal consequences of the inter-caste sexual relations in a supposedly caste-less Christian and at the same time communist community. The overall purpose of this study is to unravel, expose and analyze how these authors create new possibilities, using two main strategies: first, re-defining female subjectivity in the critical juncture of caste and gender, and second, by reinterpreting history. Telling stories, that is, creating history, is in itself a way of producing new entities, new identities. Consequently, from this angle, plotting family and lineage is very relevant. Roy’s and Hariharan’s stories call for a re-vision and transformation in the three main power structures–State, Religion and Family–subverting, thus, the canon and claiming the subalterns’ space in History.