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Sep 13, 2010

Indian Women in Literature

* 1905: The Golden Threshold, published in the United Kingdom
* 1912: The Bird of Time: Songs of Life, Death & the Spring, published in London.
* 1917: The Broken Wing: Songs of Love, Death and the Spring, including "The Gift of India" (first read in public in 1915)
* 1943: The Sceptred Flute: Songs of India, Allahabad: Kitabistan, posthumously published
* 1961: The Feather of the Dawn, posthumously published, edited by her daughter, Padmaja Naidu


Romila Thapar is an Indian historian whose principal area of study is ancient India.

Thapar's major works are Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations, Recent Perspectives of Early Indian History (editor), A History of India Volume One, and Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300.
In January 2005, she declined the Padma Bhushan awarded by the Indian Government. In a letter to President A P J Abdul Kalam, she said she was "astonished to see her name in the list of awardees because three months ago when I was contacted by the HRD ministry and asked if I would accept an award, I made my position very clear and explained my reason for declining it". Thapar had declined the Padma Bhushan on an earlier occasion, in 1992. To the President, she explained the reason for turning down the award thus: "I only accept awards from academic institutions or those associated with my professional work, and not state awards".
She is co-winner with Peter Brown of the prestigious Kluge Prize for the Study of Humanity for 2008 which comes with a $1 million prize.



Amrita Pritam was an Indian writer and poet, considered the first prominent woman Punjabi poet, novelist, and essayist, and the leading 20th-century poet of the Punjabi language, who is equally loved on both the sides of the India-Pakistan border, with a career spanning over six decades, she produced over 100 books, of poetry, fiction, biographies, essays, a collection of Punjabi folk songs and an autobiography that were translated into several Indian and foreign languages.

She is most remembered for her poignant poem, Aj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu (Today I invoke Waris Shah - "Ode to Waris Shah", an elegy to the 18th-century Punjabi poet, an expression of her anguish over massacres during the partition of India. As a novelist her most noted work was Pinjar (The Skeleton) (1950), in which she created her memorable character, Puro, an epitome of violence against women, loss of humanity and ultimate surrender to existential fate; the novel was made into an award-winning film, Pinjar in 2003.


Toru Dutt (1856-77) was the first Indian woman poet to write in English, and her work depicts archetypes of Indian womanhood, such as Sita and Savitri, showing women in suffering, self-sacrificing roles, reinforcing conventional myths in a patriotic manner. Her first book, published when she was twenty, was a book of verse translations from French, A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields: Verse Translations and Poems (1876).


Kamala Das originated a vigorous and poignant feminine confessional poetry, in which a common theme is the exploration of the man-woman relationship. This style was subsequently taken up by other women poets such as Gauri Deshpande, Suniti Namjoshi, and Chitra Narendran.


Sudha Kulkarni Murthy is an Indian social worker and author. She is known for her philanthropic work through the Infosys Foundation. Among other things, she has initiated a move to provide all government schools in Karnataka with computer and library facilities. She also teaches computer science and writes fiction. Dollar Sose (Dollar daughter-in-law), a book originally she wrote in Kannada and later translated to English as Dollar Bahu was adopted as a television serial in 2001.
On November 19, 2004, she was presented with the Raja-Lakshmi Award "in recognition of her outstanding contribution to social work" by theSri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation, Chennai.
In 2006, she was awarded the Padma Shri, a civilian award from the Government of India and received an honorary doctorate from Sathyabama University.

Mahadevi Varma best known as outstanding Hindi poet, was also a freedom fighter, woman's activist and educationist. She was also a famous poet of Hindi Kavi Sammelan. She is widely regarded as the "modernMeera". She was a major poet of the Chhayavaad generation, a period of romanticism in Modern Hindi poetry ranging from 1914-1938. With passage of time, her limited but outstanding prose has also being recognised as unique in Hindi Literature.
She was the Principal, and then the Vice Chancellor of Prayag Mahila Vidyapeeth, a woman's residential college in Allahabad. She was awarded, India's highest literary award, for lifetime achievement, the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 1979, followed by the Gyanpeeth award in 1982.

Mahadevi is considered to be one of the four major poets of the Chhayavaadi school of the Hindi literature, others being Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala', Jaishankar Prasad and Sumitranandan Pant. She was also a noted painter. She drew a number of illustrations for her poetic works like Deepshikha and Yama.
Her poems have been published under a number of other titles as well, but they contain the poems from these collections only. They include:

* Neehar (1930)
* Agnirekha (1990, published after her death)





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