Feminist Perspectives in the Novels of Toni Morrison, Michele Roberts and Anita Desai

Jayita Sengupta, Atlantic, 2006, xvi, 256 p, ISBN : 8126906294, $33.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Feminist Perspectives in the Novels of Toni Morrison, Michele Roberts and Anita Desai/Jayita Sengupta

Contents: Preface. 1. The male gaze and 'her story'. 2. Resistance literature: feminist perspectives. 3. Resistance and reconstruction: the gender conflict. 4. Family and community. 5. Gender and historical imagination. 6. Defamiliarisation: from representation to re-presentations of gender. Select bibliography. Index.

"The present book takes a fresh look at gender and feminist perspectives through the novels of the three women writers across the globe, namely Toni Morrison, Michele Roberts and Anita Desai to formulate a comparative model on the theory of 'desire.' The psychoanalytical model of research does not offer any homogeneity of points of view, rather a dialogical perspective to suggest refractions of feminist desire. As the book analyses in detail family and community, mother-daughter and father-daughter relationships, along with marital relationship, it also discusses the politics of gender representation in Afro-American, British and Indian cultures. The author begins with the comparative analysis of the 'male gaze' in the three cultures to discuss the growth and development of feminist resistance to the patriarchal texts and subtexts there, and then goes on to discuss the works of the writers and the stances taken by them. Drawing on the theories of the French feminists along with Jung's ideas on 'Sacred marriage' and 'Deconstruction' and Judith Butler's 'Dream of Symmetry', the analysis foregrounds a new historicity which is distinctly nonlinear and discursive in the writings of Toni Morrison, Michele Roberts and Anita Desai. The book is definitely a major contribution to comparative literature and gender studies." (jacket)

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