The Fabulous Feminist Summary

1095 Words5 Pages
The Fabulous Feminist Review

SunitiNamjoshi’s work has always been one to dismantle established norms of gender, sexuality and even literature. The Fabulous Feminist published by Zubaan in 2012 was a revival of Suniti’s powerful work.Namjoshi’s work is a rewriting of canonical literature, of fairy tales and even of Shakespeare.
Drawing from Indian and Western fairy tales, Namjoshioffers us an opportunity to consider fairy tales as sites of subversive forces. Though Jack Zipes and other scholars have pointed out the subversive potential of fairy tales, they are restricted to western fairy tales. Namjoshi gives us subversive popular Hindu Indian fairy tales, those from the Panchatantra.
What is striking about Namjoshi’s work is the way she always looks at identity collectively, she does not treat religious, sexual, racial, class and caste identity as separate strands. She understands their intermixed nature and the predicament it creates for an individual.
In ‘From the Panchatantra’ Namjoshi calls to our immediate attention the desire for a male child that runs through the country and through its tales. Our protagonist—the standard protagonist of Hindu folk tales in India—‘brahmin’, starts with “I, myself, am indisputably male.” But his ideas and identity which were fixed in a conception of the male that he had imagined for himself dismantle when he is reborn as a woman. The need for sons is no longer a priority, it is the want of “human status”. But alas, it escapes
Open Document