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Sarojini Sahoo (Oriya: ସରୋଜିନୀ ସାହୁ ) (born 1956) is an Indian feminist writer who has won the Orissa Sahitya Academy Award (1993), the Jhankar Award (1992), the Bhubaneswar Book Fair Award, and the Prajatantra Award.

Born in the small town of Dhenkanal in Orissa (India), Sarojini earned her MA and PhD degrees in Oriya Literature and a Bachelor of Law from Utkal University. She now teaches at a degree college in Belpahar, Jharsuguda, Orissa.

She is the second daughter of Ishwar Chandra Sahoo and the late Nalini Devi and is married to Jagadish Mohanty, a veteran writer of Orissa. She has a son and a daughter. [1]

Contents

Short stories

She has published ten anthologies of short stories.

Her English anthologies of short stories are :

  • Sarojini Sahoo Short Stories (2006) (ISBN 81-89040-26-X )
  • Waiting for Manna (2008)(ISBN : 978-81-906956-0-2)

Her other Oriya anthologies of short stories are:

  • Sukhara Muhanmuhin (1981)
  • NijaGahirareNije (1989)
  • Amrutara Pratikshare (1992)
  • Chowkath (1994)
  • Tarali Jauthiba Durga (1995)
  • Deshantari (1999)
  • Dukha Apramita (2006)
  • Srujani Sarojini (2008)

She won the Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award and Bhubaneswar Book Fair Award for her collection of short stories titled, Amrutara Pratikshare.

Novels

She has published eight novels in Oriya .

  • Upanibesh (1998)
  • Pratibandi (1999)
  • Swapna Khojali Mane (2000)
  • Mahajatra (2001)
  • Gambhiri Ghara (2005)
  • Bishad Ishwari (2006)
  • Pakshibasa (2007)
  • Asamajik (2008)

Her novel Gambhiri Ghara proved to be a bestseller in Oriya literature. Her novels have gained a reputation for their feminist outlook and sexual frankness and has been translated into English and published from India under the title ,The Dark Abode (2008) ( ISBN : 978-81-906956-2-6 ) and published from Bangladesh in Bengali as Mithya Gerosthali. ( 2007 ) (ISBN No :984 404 287-9 ) Dr. Vishwanath Bite is working on its Marathi translation. Another novel Pakhibas has been translated in to Bengali and published from Bangladesh under the same title (ISBN : 984-70114-0089-1 )in 2009.

Awards

  • Orissa Sahitya Academy Award, 1993
  • Jhankar Award, 1992
  • Bhubaneswar Book Fair Award, 1993
  • Prajatantra Award, 1981,1993

Feminism

Sarojini Sahoo is a key figure and trendsetter of feminism in contemporary Oriya literature. For her, feminism is not a "gender problem" or confrontational attack on male hegemony and, as such, differs from the feminist views of Virginia Woolf or Judith Butler. Sahoo accepts feminism as an integral part of femaleness separate from the masculine world. Writing with a heightened awareness of women’s bodies, she has developed an appropriate style that exploits openness, fragmentation, and nonlinearity. [2]

Treating female sexuality from puberty to menopause, her fiction always projects a feminine sensibility. Feminine feelings such as restrictions during adolescence or pregnancy, fear factors such as rape or being condemned by society, the concept of the “bad girl,” and so on, are treated thematically and in-depth throughout her novels and short stories.

Her feminism is constantly linked to the sexual politics of a woman. She denies patriarchal limits of sexual expression for a woman and she identifies women's sexual liberation as the real motive behind the women's movement. In South Asian Outlook , an e-magazine published from Canada, Menka Walia writes : “Sahoo typically evolves her stories around Indian women and sexuality, which is something not commonly written about, but is rather discouraged in a traditionalist society. As a feminist, she advocates women’s rights and usually gives light to the injustices Eastern women face. In her interviews, she usually talks about the fact that women are second-class citizens in India, backing up these facts with examples of how love marriages are forbidden, the rejection of divorces, the unfairness of dowries, and the rejection of female politicians.”.[3] For her, orgasm is the body's natural call to feminist politics: if being a woman is this good, women must be worth something. Her novels like Upanibesh, Pratibandi and Gambhiri Ghara cover a myriad of areas from sexuality to philosophy; from the politics of the home to politics of the world. According to American journalist Linda Lowen, Sarojini Sahoo has written extensively as an Indian feminist about the interior lives of women and how their burgeoning sexuality is seen as a threat to traditional patriarchal societies. [4] Sarojini’s novels and short stories treat women as sexual beings and probe culturally sensitive topics such as rape, abortion and menopause—from a female perspective. [5]

Sexuality

Sexuality is something that can be related to a lot of other aspects of culture, tightly-linked with an individual life, or into the evolution of a culture. Anyone’s class or ethnic or geographic identity could be closely-associated to his/her sexuality, or anyone’s sense of art or literature. Sexuality is not just an entity in itself.

But still, either in West or in East, there is a reluctant outlook towards sexuality. Society has always tried to hide it from any open forum. But neither society, nor the legislature, or even the judiciary, also, do not stand by the side of sexuality to support it.

In the West, James Joyce’s Ulysses or even Radclyffe Hall's Loneliness in the Well or Virginia Woolf’s Orlando are some examples which have to suffer a lot for describing sexuality in literature. Sexuality in literature grew with feminism.

Simone De Beauvoir, in her book The Second Sex, first elaborately described the gender role and problem away from biological differences. In Oriya literature, Sarojini is considered a key figure to discuss sexuality in her fiction with a sincere effort to express her feminist ideas. [6]

Her novel Upanibesh was the first attempt in Oriya literature to focus on sexuality as a part of social revolt by any woman. .[7] Medha, the protagonist of her novel, was a bohemian . In her pre-marital stage, she was thinking that it was boring to live with a man life-long. Perhaps she wanted a chain free life, where there would be only love, only sex and wouldn’t be any monotony. But she had to marry Bhaskar. Can Indian society imagine a lady with bohemianism?

In her novel Pratibandi,.[8], Sarojini has also described the thematic development of sexuality in a woman. Priyanka, the protagonist of the novel has to encounter the loneliness in the exile of Saragpali, a remote village of India. This loneliness develops into a sexual urge and soon, Priyanka finds herself sexually attached with a former Member of Parliament. Though there is an age gap between them, his intelligence impresses her and she discovers a hidden archaeologist in him.

In her novel Gambhiri Ghara, she describes an unusual relationship between two people: a Hindu house wife of India and a Muslim artist of Pakistan. It is a net-oriented novel. A woman meets a very sexually experienced man. One day he asks if she had any such experience. The woman, Kuki, scolds him and insults him by calling him a caterpillar. She said without love, lust is like hunger of a caterpillar. Gradually they become involved with love, lust, and spiritually. That man considers her as his daughter, lover, mother, and above all these, as a Goddess. They both madly love each other, through the internet and on the phone. They use obscene language and they kiss each other online. Kuki does not lead a happy conjugal life though she has a love marriage with Aniket. But the novel is not limited to only a love story.

It has a greater aspect. It deals with the relationship between State and individual. ..[9] Safique, is not a Muslim by temperament, but as a historian, thinks the Pakistan of today has separated itself from its roots and looks towards Arabian legends for his history. He protests that the syllabus of history for the school would start from seventh century A.D., not from the Mahenjodaro and Harappa. Safique was once arrested after the bomb blast of London for allegation of being associated with the terrorist, but is it a true fact? Later Kuki came to know that Safiques is trapped by a military junta. The ex-lover of Safique’s wife had revenged on Safique by arresting him with an allegation of terrorism.

Here, the author deals with the question of terrorism.[10] There is often discussion about terrorism caused by an individual or by a group. Society rarely discusses terrorism caused by a state.

What is a state? Is it a group of people that resides within a political and geographical boundaries? Are a state’s identity, mood and wishes separate from its ruler? Is the wish of George W. Bush not considered as the wish of America? Has it reflected the mood and wish of the people of America? So, every time, the state’s arranged anarchism or terrorism is merely a reflection of a terrorism caused by an individual. The great truth lies beneath Safique, as a terrorist, develops from the mind of a military man.

The author has successfully painted the difference of sensibility towards sexuality between male and female and has her own credibility for the frankness to deal with sensitive matters, be they matters of politics or matters of sexuality. She has gained a reputation and has her own place in the history of Oriya fiction. [11]

Sources

Print

Primary sources

  • Sahoo, Sarojini. Sarojini Sahoo Short Stories. Grassroots, 2006. ISBN 81-89040-26-X
  • Sahoo, Sarojini. Waiting for Manna,Indian AGE Communication, 2008. ISBN : 978-81-906956-0-2
  • Sahoo, Sarojini. The Dark Abode,Indian AGE Communication, 2008. ISBN :978-81-906956-2-6
  • Sahoo, Sarojini. Mithya Gerosthali, Anupam Prakashani, Dhaka, Bangladesh ,2007. ISBN : 984-404-287-9
  • —. Sukhara Muhanmuhin (1981)
  • —. NijaGahirareNije (1989)
  • —. Amrutara Pratikshare (1992)
  • —. Chowkath (1994)
  • —. Tarali Jauthiba Durga (1995)
  • —. Upanibesh (1998)
  • —. Pratibandi (1999)
  • —. Gambhiri Ghara (2005)

Secondary sources

  • —. Oriya Women’s Writing :Paul St-Pierre and Ganeswar Mishra,Sateertha Publication,ISBN No :81-900749-0-3
  • —. The Amari Gapa (Oriya Literary Journal), Special Issue on Sarojini :May-July ,2006

Online

References

  1. ^ Official web site. Accessed 11 August 2007
  2. ^ [1] Accessed 8 May 2008.
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Cf. Lowen, Linda, Indian Feminist Author Sarojini Sahoo Explores Female Sexuality, women's issue guide of New York Times portal About.com [3]
  5. ^ Lowen, Linda, Sarojini Sahoo Explores Female Sexuality [4] ]
  6. ^ [Oriya Women’s Writing :Paul St-Pierre and Ganeswar Mishra,Sateertha Publication,ISBN No :81-900749-0-3
  7. ^ [The Amari Gapa : Special Issue on Sarojini :May-July ,2006
  8. ^ [ISBN No :81-7411-253-7
  9. ^ accessed 8 May 2008
  10. ^ accessed 8 May 2008
  11. ^ [The Amari Gapa: Special Issue on Sarojini Sahoo, May-July, 2006

See also

External links


Simple English

Sarojini Sahoo (born 1956) is an Indian writer, who has been enlisted among 25 exceptional women of India by ‘Kindle’ English magazine of Kolkata.[1] She has been given the Orissa Sahitya Academy Award (1993), the Jhankar Award (1992), the Bhubaneswar Book Fair Award and the Prajatantra Award.

Sahoo was born in a small town of Dhenkanal in Orissa (India). Sarojini has MA and PhD degrees in Oriya Literature and a Bachelor of Law from Utkal University. She now teaches at a degree college in Belpahar, Jharsuguda, Orissa.

Sarojini is the second daughter of Ishwar Chandra Sahoo and (late) Nalini Devi. She is married to Jagadish Mohanty, a veteran writer of Orissa. They have a son and a daughter.[2]

Contents

Short stories

She has published ten anthologies of short stories.

Her English anthologies of short stories are :

  • Sarojini Sahoo Short Stories (2006) (ISBN 81-89040-26-X )
  • Waiting for Manna (2008)(ISBN : 978-81-906956-0-2)

Her other Oriya anthologies of short stories are:

  • Sukhara Muhanmuhin (1981)
  • NijaGahirareNije (1989)
  • Amrutara Pratikshare (1992)
  • Chowkath (1994)
  • Tarali Jauthiba Durga (1995)
  • Deshantari (1999)
  • Dukha Apramita (2006)
  • Srujani Sarojini (2008)

She has been widely translated and published in different Indian languages. Her stories have been included in anthologies published by Harper Collins , National Book Trust , Sahitya Akademi and Gnanpith . She has attended many All India Writer’s meet and workshops arranged by Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal, Sahitya Akademi and National Book Trust.

She has been given the Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award and Bhubaneswar Book Fair award for her short stories collection Amrutara Pratikshare.

Novels

Seven novels are published so far:

  • Upanibesh (1998)
  • Pratibandi (1999)
  • Swapna Khojali Mane (2000)
  • Mahajatra (2001)
  • Gambhiri Ghara (2005)
  • Bishad Ishwari (2006)
  • "Pakshibasa"(2007)

The novel Upanibesh was the first attempt in Oriya Literature to focus the sexuality as a part of social revolt by any woman. Medha, the protagonist of Sarojini’s novel, was a bohemian. In her pre-marital stage, she was thinking that it was boring to live with a man life-long.

In her novel Pratibandi, Sarojini has also described the thematic development of sexuality in a woman. Priyanka, the protagonist of the novel has to encounter the loneliness in the exile of Saragpali, a remote village of India. This lonliness develops into a sexual urge and soon Priyanka finds herself sexually attached with a former Member of Parliament. Though there is an age gap between them, his intelligence impresses her and she discovers a hidden archaeologist in him. Sarojini has painted successfully the difference of sensibility towards sexuality among male and female. Sarojini has her own credibility for the frankness to deals with the sensitive matters either it may be in politics or in sexuality. She has gained a reputation and has her own place in the history of Oriya fiction. Her novel Gambhiri Ghara she describes an unusual relationship between two people, a Hindu house wife of India and a Muslim artist of Pakistan. It is a net oriented novel. A woman meets a very sexually experienced man. One day he asks if she had any such experience. The woman, Kuki, scolds him and insults him by calling him a caterpillar. She said without love lust is like hunger of a caterpillar. Gradually they become involved with love, lust and spiritually. That man considers her as his daughter, lover, mother, and above all these as a Goddess. They both madly love each other, through the internet and on the phone. They use obscene language; they kiss each other online. Kuki does not lead a happy conjugal life though she has a love marriage with Aniket. The novel is not limited to only a love story. It has a greater aspect. It deals with the relationship between State and individual. Safique, who is not a Muslim by temperament, and as a historian, thinks the Pakistan of today has separated itself from its roots and looks towards Arabian legends for his history. He protests that the syllabus of history for the school would start from seventh century AD, not from the Mahenjodaro and Harappa. This broad Safique was once arrested after the bomb blast of London for allegation of being associated with the terrorist. But is it a true fact? Later Kuki came to know that Safiques is trapped by a military junta. The ex-lover of Tabassum had revenged on Safique by arresting him with an allegation of terrorism.

Her novel Gambhiri Ghara proved to be a bestseller in Oriya literature. Her novels have gained a reputation for the frankness about sexuality and of feminist outlook. Her novels have gained a reputation for their feminist outlook and sexual frankness and has been translated into English and published from India under the title ,The Dark Abode (2008) ( ISBN : 978-81-906956-2-6 ) and published from Bangladesh in Bengali as Mithya Gerosthali. ( 2007 ) (ISBN No :984 404 287-9 ) Dr. Vishwanath Bite is working on its Marathi translation. Another novel Pakhibas has been translated in to Bengali and published from Bangladesh under the same title (ISBN : 984-70114-0089-1 )in 2009.

Awards

She has been awarded:

  • Orissa Sahitya Academy Award, 1993,
  • the Jhankar Award, 1992,
  • the Bhubaneswar Book Fair Award (1993), and
  • the Prajatantra Award (1981,1993),

References

  1. Orissa Diary. Accessed 8 April 2010
  2. Official web site, accessed 11 August 2007

Other websites








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