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A Disobedient Girl

by Ru Freeman

This book paints a rich, detailed, beautiful, but unflinching portrait of women in Sri Lanka. The interlinking, overlapping stories of Biso and Latha speak to the importance of family and the centrality of women despite the limits that fence them in. In many ways, little changes during the years separating the two storylines, leaving me with mixed feelings, caught between relentless suffering, and continuity of hope and survival.

Extract

Earrings are not decorations. They are a statement of legitimacy, of dignity, of self-worth. Ask any woman, and she would tell you that she would pawn everything she has before she gave up her earrings. Even her wedding band. For what is a wedding band worth except to say that a man coveted your children and wanted to claim them for his own? A wedding band can come from any man, just like children. Earrings, a real pair of earrings, come only with love.

Parallels

Feasting, Fasting by Anita Desai
 

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