Ballari Ray Chaudhuri, Assistant Professor, Department of Bengali, Gokhale Memorial Girl’s College, Calcutta
In this talk, I undertake a close reading of the Bengali poet Gita Chattopadhyay’s “Ghar Hoite Angina Bidesh” (From the House To The Courtyard, A Foreign Land) to demonstrate the literary resources, both premodern and modern, the poet mobilizes to articulate new notions of women’s freedom. Gita Chattopadhyay (1941-2019), was a poet, critic, and essayist who exiled herself voluntarily from the literary milieu. Although she began writing in the 1960s, her book did not appear until 1973. She poetry gained wide recognition only in 1999 when Ananda publishers anthologized them. I approach her work both as an engaged reader but also as a poet who situates her own practice in a tradition of feminist Bengali poetry.