This anthology offers students a view of literary practices across many Indian languages, over several centuries. The selections show how cultural diversity in India exists through a living mixture of continuities and transmutations; how, for instance, medieval Sufi or Bhakti poetry is found amidst the literatures of contemporary India. Dalit, tribal and women’s voices are richly represented in this collection, as are themes of caste, community, gender and composite culture. The volume aims to overcome the limitations of studying the literature of a single language or literary tradition by introducing the student to comparative readings, and to rectify our privileging of written literature by including some examples of oral traditions.
The anthology has eight units, of which two also touch upon the question of language politics and hierarchies. Each unit includes a significant theoretical or critical essay to complement the creative pieces included in the same unit.