Elusive Lives

Gender, Autobiography, and the Self in Muslim South Asia

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Siobhan Lambert-Hurley
South Asia in Motion
  • Palo Alto, CA: 
    Stanford University Press
    , July
     2018.
     296 pages.
     $29.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9781503606517.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

Muslim South Asia is widely characterized as a culture that idealizes female anonymity: women's bodies are veiled and their voices silenced. Challenging these perceptions, Siobhan Lambert-Hurley highlights an elusive strand of autobiographical writing dating back several centuries that offers a new lens through which to study notions of selfhood. In Elusive Lives, she locates the voices of Muslim women who rejected taboos against women speaking out, by telling their life stories in written autobiography. To chart patterns across time and space, materials dated from the sixteenth century to the present are drawn from across South Asia – including present-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Lambert-Hurley uses many rare autobiographical texts in a wide array of languages, including Urdu, English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi and Malayalam to elaborate a theoretical model for gender, autobiography, and the self beyond the usual Euro-American frame. In doing so, she works toward a new, globalized history of the field. Ultimately, Elusive Lives points to the sheer diversity of Muslim women's lives and life stories, offering a unique window into a history of the everyday against a backdrop of imperialism, reformism, nationalism and feminism.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Siobhan Lambert-Hurley is Reader in International History in the Department of History at the University of Sheffield.

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments