Summary: Real and Imagined Women explores the position of the female subject in a postcolonial state, focusing on the practice and representation of sati--the practice of burning widows with their husband's funeral pyres. Rajeswari Sunder Rajan investigates the problematic relationship between the ``theory'' of the ``first world'' against the ``matter'' of the ``third''--that is, she brings postcolonial theory to bear on the politics of gender, religion, and culture of contem ...show moreporary India.
She covers a range of subjects such as: pre-colonial Tamil and Indian texts and colonial Imperialist texts; Indian writings and films; women's victimization by forms of sanctioned violence and their fraught, if passive, subject-position; contemporary novels by Indian women writers, and the ``elite'' woman-as-leader, focusing on the discourse generated by Indira Gandhi.
Real and Imagined Women offers a challenging mode of ``reading resistance'' which destroys the stereotyped and sensationalist humanist image of the ``third world woman'' as victim. ...show less