(Un)Familiar Femininities: Studies in Contemporary Lesbian South Asian Texts

Aneeta Rajendran, Oxford University Press, 2015, 344 p, ISBN : 9780199454914, $48.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

(Un)Familiar Femininities: Studies in Contemporary Lesbian South Asian Texts

Contents: An Introduction. 1. Gender Insubordination: (Un)Familiar Butch Desire. 2. Lesbians in the House! Cinema and Queer Female Desire.  3. The (Un)Familiar in the Heart of the Family: Portraits of the Lesbian as a Married Woman.  4. Unbecoming Women: Shaping (Un)Familiar Lives. Conclusions: Mainstreaming (Un)Familiarities. Index. 

The female homosexual in South Asia is not always a visible lesbian person. She is often a figuration of an act that challenges hegemonic ideas of gender and female subjectivity. This lesbian femininity can be found in many socio-cultural conversations, defamiliarizing and subverting normative ideas of female monogamy, compulsory motherhood, asexuality, celibacy, and compliance.

A nuanced reading of contemporary literary and cinematic texts from India and its diaspora, this work traces the histories of the 'un(familiar)' lesbian in the homophobic realm around us. Focusing on  representations and legacies of such femininities, the author  shows how female same-sex socialities and  female same-sex love straddle  terrains both familiar and unfamiliar, arguing that homosexuality and heterosexuality are not in  opposition but in a state of constant dialogue with each other.

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