ISBN is

978-0-520-08371-4 / 9780520083714

Listen to the Heron's Words: Reimagining Gender and Kinship in North India

by

Publisher:University of California Press

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

In many South Asian oral traditions, herons are viewed as duplicitous and conniving. These traditions tend also to view women as fragmented identities, dangerously split between virtue and virtuosity, between loyalties to their own families and those of their husbands. In women's songs, however, symbolic herons speak, telling of alternative moral perspectives shaped by women. The heron's wordsand women's expressive genres more generallycriticize pervasive North Indian ideologies of gender and kinship that place women in subordinate positions. By inviting readers to "listen to the heron's words," the authors convey this shift in moral perspective and suggest that these spoken truths are compelling and consequential for the women in North India.

The songs and narratives bear witness to a provocative cultural dissonance embedded in women's speech. This book reveals the power of these critical commentaries and the fluid and permeable boundaries between spoken words and the lives of ordinary village women.

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