ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Housewife, Sex Worker and Reformer

Autobiography, as a genre of writing, has formed an important site of feminist engagement with dominant theories of the self. Awareness that the subject of autobiography, politicised as it is, also remains fully mediated by discourse has alerted feminists to ways in which discursive position and material or historical location are mutually implicated in autobiography. This essay focuses on the reception of autobiography and its politics by examining two autobiographies by Malayalee women and the controversies around them. The aim is to (i) understand these within the history of the discursive shaping of gender in Malayalee modernity, (ii) investigate the specific contexts of discussion that shaped reception of these texts, and (iii) examine political stakes in life-writing for female authors of autobiographies differently located.

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