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Same-Sex Desire in Indian Culture

Representations in Literature and Film, 1970-2015

Authors: Ross, Oliver

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About this book

This book explores representations of same-sex desire in Indian literature and film from the 1970s to the present. Through a detailed analysis of poetry and prose by authors like Vikram Seth, Kamala Das, and Neel Mukherjee, and films from Bollywood and beyond, including Onir's My Brother Nikhil and Deepa Mehta's Fire, Oliver Ross argues that an initially Euro-American "homosexuality" with its connotations of an essential psychosexual orientation, is reinvented as it overlaps with different elements of Indian culture. Dismantling the popular belief that vocal gay and lesbian politics exist in contradistinction to a sexually "conservative" India, this book locates numerous alternative practices and identities of same-sex desire in Indian history and modernity. Indeed, many of these survived British colonialism, with its importation of ideas of sexual pathology and perversity, in changed or codified forms, and they are often inflected by gay and lesbian identities in the present. In this account, Oliver Ross challenges the preconception that, in the contemporary world, a grand narrative of sexuality circulates globally and erases all pre-existing narratives and embodiments of sexual desire.

About the authors

Oliver Ross is a Teaching Fellow of English at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Reviews

"Oliver Ross brings fresh insight to the debates and texts he examines and undertakes some excellent exegeses of much-analyzed, as well as under-analysed texts. He bravely takes on the current received wisdom that gay identity is 'irremediably Eurocentric'; as he points out, practitioners of queer theory who propound this view exempt queer theory itself from Eurocentricity in a largely unexamined way." - Ruth Vanita, Professor of Liberal Studies, University of Montana, USA and co-editor of Same-Sex Love in India: Readings from Literature and History

"Oliver Ross brings fresh insight to the debates and texts he examines and undertakes some excellent exegeses of much-analyzed, as well as under-analysed texts. He bravely takes on the current received wisdom that gay identity is 'irremediably Eurocentric'; as he points out, practitioners of queer theory who propound this view exempt queer theory itself from Eurocentricity in a largely unexamined way." - Ruth Vanita, Professor of Liberal Studies, University of Montana, USA and co-editor of Same-Sex Love in India: Readings from Literature and History

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-42

    Ross, Oliver

  • Contradictions or Syncretism? The Politics of Female-Female Desire in Deepa Mehta’s Fire and Ligy J. Pullappally’s Sancharram (The Journey)

    Pages 43-62

    Ross, Oliver

  • “Am I Lesbian?” The Contexts of Female-Female Desire in the Work of Kamala Das

    Pages 63-85

    Ross, Oliver

  • “The Bliss I Could Portray”: Elliptical and Declamatory Male-Male Desire in the Work of Vikram Seth

    Pages 87-105

    Ross, Oliver

  • Communal Tensions: Homosexuality in Raj Rao’s The Boyfriend and Neel Mukherjee’s A Life Apart

    Pages 107-131

    Ross, Oliver

Buy this book

eBook $74.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56692-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $95.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-57075-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $95.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-57191-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Same-Sex Desire in Indian Culture
Book Subtitle
Representations in Literature and Film, 1970-2015
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-56692-8
DOI
10.1007/978-1-137-56692-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-57075-8
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-57191-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 205
Topics

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