More Than A Victim: Lakshmi Holdström’s The Inner Courtyard

Avani Udgaonkar

Edited by Ketaki Zodgekar

Illustration by Olivia Prenderghast: https://liviprendergast.wordpress.com/

TW: sexual violence mention

The study of Indian literature in Western universities has always been disappointing. Even in the best of courses, Indian literature is still limited to the Salman Rushdie – Jhumpa Lahiri – Vikram Seth (if you’re lucky) trifecta that is as irresponsible as it is exhausting. While the works of second-generation and diasporic writers are important, to use their limited voices as representative of an entire subcontinent with hundreds of languages and cultures, hardly constitutes an education. The depiction of Indian women, in particular, from Slumdog Millionaire (2009) to The Satanic Verses (1988), are hardly more than one-dimensional stock caricatures of stereotypically oppressed “third world” women. Individuality, independence, rebellion, and cultural nuances, all vanish against this overwhelming backdrop of Bollywood tropes and toxic masculinity.

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The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker: Unheard Voices

Erin Hutton

Edited by Veronica Vivi

Illustration by Ottelien Huckin https://www.ottelienhuckin.co.uk/

History often ignores women’s contributions. Modern schools, such as my own, may try to teach about their contributions, yet it is clear that many women are resigned to the shadows. Pat Barker has emphasised this injustice with her shocking novel The Silence of the Girls, a retelling of The Iliad with one crucial difference: it tells the story of the women who were caught up in the bloodshed.

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Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

Toby Sharpe

Edited by Vicki Madden

Art: Ottelien Huckin http://www.ottelienhuckin.co.uk/ 

‘Are there many little boys who think they are a

Monster? But in my case I am right…’ (Carson 12)

It is an onerous task to write about a book that you love. Harder still to write about one that so vigorously resists definition – and which seems to attack the idea that anything can have a single meaning. Anne Carson, a Macarthur ‘Genius’ who taught Greek at McGill University in Montréal, has adapted the Classical poet Stesichoros’s fragments into her own epic poem. This is perhaps the simplest way to describe a book which, in less than two-hundred pages, covers an almost absurd amount of ground –a text which offers me new interpretations each time I come back to it, and which manages to rock me, as a queer man, to my very core.

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