Revolving around the life of Sanichari, a poor low-caste villagewoman, Rudali is an ironic tale of exploitation, struggle and survival. In 1992, it was adapted into a play by Usha Ganguli, a leading theatre director of Calcutta, and instantly became one of the most acclaimed productions of its time. In both incarnations of Rudali, it has been a woman who has wrought and rewrought this text which revolves around the life of a woman: and each version can be read as an important feminist text for contemporary India.
Both the short story and the play are included in this volume, along with an introductory essay that studies how and why the versions are different and what the changes signify, leading to an analysis of how the metamorphosis of Rudali allows us to address the simultaneity and asymmetry of feminist positions in India today.
Kalpana Lajmi’s multiple-award-winning film Rudaali (1993) is also based on the same short story by Mahasweta Devi.
‘Mahasweta Devi’s work, deeply rooted in history, provide vivid portrayals of the rural underclass, her many characters robust even in their suffering and, of course, in their resistance.’—Indian Journal of Gender Studies
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