Breast Stories is a collection of three stories authored by Mahasweta Devi, a feminist writer and activist. She is a Bengali leftist intellectual, whose writing is devoted to the struggles of tribal communities. A snippet from an interview with her publisher gives a precious glimpse into her psyche, in which she declared with brutal honesty —. I often say that my world is divided between two things- the needful and the needless.
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The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Christopher Iacono on three works by Mahasweta Devi, and published by Seagull Books: Mother of trans. Is everyone back on two feet after the AWP conference in Minneapolis? In honor of and in no subject-matter-relation to that as these books are pretty weighted , I wanted to post this longer review by Chris who is a regular reviewer for Three Percent , which highlights three works by Bengali author Mahasweta Devi.
His review is comprehensive, and the respective ISBN and other information on the books themselves is listed in the following order: Mother of , Old Women , and Breast Stories. In fact, for Devi, the two seem to go together. As you can probably tell from the titles, she writes about women and their place in Indian society. Some of the characters in her stories are old women living in poverty, and some of them are exploited because of their lack of wealth; however, some of them are middle class one of them is even college-educated.
Unfortunately, these three selections can be frustrating reads at times, for different reasons. Those curious about Devi would probably want to start with Mother of , a popular novel that was made into a movie in the late s. A few years before, the Naxalite movement, which was formed in the s by a group of Indian communists that supported Maoist ideology, was gaining strength, especially among students.
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Book Review: Breast Stories by Mahasweta Devi, A Metaphor For Exploitation
Breast Stories. This cluster of short fiction has a common motif: the breast. As Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak points out in her introduction, the breast is far more than a symbol in these stories. It becomes the means of a harsh indictment of an exploitative social system. In Draupadi , the protagonist Dopdi Mejhen is a tribal revolutionary who, arrested and gang-raped in custody, turns the terrible wounds of her breasts into a counter-offensive. In Breast-Giver , a woman who becomes a professional wet-nurse to support her family dies of painful breast cancer, betrayed alike by the breasts that for years became her chief identity and the dozens of sons she suckled.
Latest Review: "Mother of 1084," "Old Women," and "Breast Stories" by Mahasweta Devi