Amrita Pritam, the iconoclastic literary figure who defied conventions, is vividly brought to life in the anthology “A Writer Provocateur” who boldly defied conventions, springs to life. This publication, a part of Routledge India’s “Writer in Context” series, thoughtfully curated by editors Hina Nandrajog and Prem Kumari Srivastava, delves deeply into the multifaceted life and works of hers. It unfolds the profound influence of love, longing, and discontent on her remarkable literary journey.
The book presents readers with a diverse tapestry of Pritam’s creations, including poems, diary entries, memoirs, short stories, and excerpts, all thoughtfully translated into English. The critical essays, articles, reminiscences, and interviews are thoughtfully organized into six distinct sections.
In the opening section, titled “Deconstructing the Self,” Pritam’s autobiographical writings are meticulously examined, revealing the evolution of her creative self, intricately woven with the themes of love and dissent. Arti Minocha’s essay persuasively argues that Pritam’s unorthodox approach to life-writing, featuring dream sequences and nightmares, vividly narrates a gendered self shaped by the forces of love and longing.
The anthology further delves into Pritam’s feminist perspective, spiritual journey, and her fearless defiance of patriarchal norms. It illuminates her iconic works such as “Pinjar” and “Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah nu.” The book meticulously traces her transition from traditional romantic poetry to progressive thinking, followed by her daring experimentation with modern aesthetics.
Re-reported from the article published in HINDU.