Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Queering books

Stories are a powerful medium to talk about unchartered territories. Many of us forget the path-breaking story written in 1941 by Ismat Chugtai. Lihaaf was a controversial story that shook society out of its stupor by making bold suggestions of a same-sex relationship. The story was even challenged in court. Ismat Chugati won the case.
Compared to the backlash then, one must admit that the publishing industry and readers have both embraced diverse stories. There are several books we could suggest and this list is a mere starting point.

1.      Queering India: Same-Sex Love and Eroticism in Indian Culture and Society edited by Ruth Vanita
Queering India provides an understanding of same-sex love and eroticism in Indian culture and society. The topics are wide-ranging and look at films, literature, popular culture among others.

2.      Because I Have a Voice: Queer Politics in India edited by Gautam Bhan and Arvind Narrain
This book expands the scope of queer politics in India. It has essays as well as personal stories.

3.      The Truth About Me: A Hijra Life Story by A. Revathi
An autobiography of a Hijra, this book is courageous and a must-read for all of us. Revathi speaks about her childhood, the violence she experienced and her emotions with a deep honesty. 

4.      Shikhandi and Other Stories They Don’t Tell You by Devdutt Pattanaik
Devdutt Pattanaik has several books that lend a queer eye to mythology. Shikhandi coupled with Pregnant King are a good window for us to see how homosexuality exists within Indian Mythology.

5.      Gaysi Zine – Queer Graphic Anthology
Not much of a reader? Looking for some fantastic art? This anthology is for you. Full of powerful, concise storytelling, the Gaysi Zine was the first of its kind in India. The book is put together by straight, queer, young and old artists with a story they are waiting to share!

Share your thoughts if you have read any of these books. Comment on our blog, Tweet, Facebook comment books you may have read and enjoyed that we have left out!

Happy Reading!

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