Kashibai Kanitkar (1861–1948), was the first major woman writer in Marathi. She was largely self-taught and keenly conscious of the benefits of women’s education. She promoted this and other emancipatory measures for women through her prolific and wide-ranging writings—both fiction and non-fiction—deploying them as a mode of social reform discourse.
The present book includes translations of most of Kashibai’s works: both her novels (in abridged form); a review of Pandita Ramabai’s American travelogue; long extracts from Kashibai’s episodic autobiographical narrative as well as from her biography of India’s first woman doctor, Dr. Anandibai Joshee; and an article tracing the history of women’s education in Maharashtra.
A comprehensive introduction by Meera Kosambi contextualizes these texts and situates Kashibai within her social and literary milieu. Kashibai, Professor Kosambi shows, was a pioneering writer who created a new paradigm in Marathi literature. It was she who enabled Maharashtra’s rich tradition of women’s writings by foundational contributions which ‘engendered’ Marathi literature.
Meera Kosambi (Ed.) is a sociologist trained in India, Sweden, and the USA. She has specialized in Urban Studies and Women’s Studies. A major focus in her research is Maharashtra’s social, cultural, and urban history. Her books include Returning the American Gaze: Pandita Ramabai’s ‘The Peoples of the United States’, 1889 (Permanent Black, 2003) and Crossing Thresholds: Feminist Essays in Social History (Permanent Black, 2007).