This book is the first close study of the growing body of contemporary Hindi-language Dalit literature in India. It goes beyond recognizing and celebrating the subaltern speaking, emphasizing instead the sociopolitical perspectives and literary strategies of a range of contemporary Dalit writers working in Hindi. It asks questions such as: what makes Dalit literature Dalit? What makes it good? Why is this genre important, and where does it oppose or intersect with other bodies of Indian literature? It also follows the debate among Dalit writers as they establish a specifically Dalit literary critical approach, underscoring the significance of the Dalit literary sphere as a ‘counterpublic’ generating contemporary Dalit social and political identities.
Laura Brueck is Associate Professor of Hindi Literature and South Asian Studies, Northwestern University.