This collection offers a broad spectrum of contemporary writing from South Asia, highlighting different facets of the idea of freedom. It is when the ideal of freedom is threatened that forms of resistance emerge, generating their own literature of protest. Diverse structures of power produce diverse modes of resistance, including nationalism, gender conflicts, class struggles, and questions of caste, environment, communalism, censorship, language, democracy, tribal life and globalisation. The writings included here demonstrate the extraordinary versatility of the idea of freedom, and variegated creative responses to it. Drawn from multiple literary genres, such as poetry, prose, fiction, drama, satire and autobiography, the selections in this anthology reaffirm the human dream of freedom and the role of literature in imagining a new, more harmonious South Asia.
Radha Chakravarty teaches English at Gergi College, University of New Delhi, India. Her books include translations of major Bengali writers such as Tagore, Bankimchandra, Mahasweta Devi, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Selina Hossain and Hasan Azizul Haq. She has edited Crossings: Stories from Bangladesh and India and Bodymaps: Stories by South Asian Women. She received the Radhakrishnan Memorial Award (2006).
Selina Hossain is a noted writer and activist from Bangladesh. She has had a long association with the Bangla Academy, during which she has published several anthologies of short stories, novels, anthologies of essays and novels for children. She has received numerous literary awards including the Ekushey Padak (the highest national award for contribution to Bengali literature) in 2009 and the Bangla Academy Literary Award (1980). Her work has been translated into various languages.