The Partition of British India in 1947 into the new nations of India and Pakistan, and the transformation of East Pakistan into a third nation, Bangladesh, in 1971, were events marked by violence, displacement, and multiple alienations. In her brilliant new book, Ananya Jahanara Kabir discusses their impact, three generations later, on contemporary cultural producers from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Literary texts, archaeological digs, photographs, maps and other memorabilia are woven together to present a groundbreaking consideration of Partition. Kabir’s account departs from previous Partition scholarship by arguing for 1947 and 1971 as linked epochal events; by excavating the connections between violence, memory, melancholia and modernity; and by bringing considerations of family, inter-generational dialogue, and subjectivity to a new memory study of South Asia.
Ananya Jahanara Kabir is a Professor of English Literature at King’s College, London. She has written numerous articles in the fields of literary and cultural criticism, the politics of visual representation and memory studies, in various international journals. She is the author of Paradise, Death and Doomsday in Anglo-Saxon Literature and Territory of Desire: Representing the Valley of Kashmir.