Sister Outsiders

The Representation of Identity and Difference in Selected Writings by South African Indian Women


Sister outsiders draws attention to a neglected corpus of writing in South African literary criticism. The focus is on the exclusion of Indian women's writings in South Africa, which must be seen as a dimension of the larger exclusion of women's writings, white and black, from South African literature in general. The book provides an historical account of the events that contributed to the marginalisation of black literature - specifically Indian women's literature - amongst other things, the institutionalisation of English Studies which affected the reading and reception of texts written by Indian women, and the contstruction of an indigenous English literary tradition that did not include black writers as much as it did white writers of English descent, writing about South African experiences.
Dr Devarakshanam (Betty) Govinden is a prominent South African academic, prolific researcher , author and poet. She has varied interests and has published on a wide variety of topics such as education, literature, theology, the visual arts and interdisciplinary studies. She is a former Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Durban-Westville, and is currently a research associate within the Faculty of Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Betty is deeply involved in her community; being a member of the Association of Commonwealth Literatures and Languages, member of South African literary and language associations, and she is a a founder member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians. She was a past member of the Anglican Consulative Council, and attended the 1988 Lambeth Conference as a lay delegate from the Anglican Church in Southern Africa.
One: Exclusionary practices in South African literary criticism: The writings of Indian women in South Africa
Two: The politics of identity and of difference
Three: Claiming identity and selfhood
Four: The indenture experience – Indian women in colonial Natal
Five: A survey of Indian women’s writings
Six: Reclaiming Ansuyah Singh’s Behold the Earth Mourns
Seven: `A world of Differences’: Zuleikha M Mayat’s A Treasure Trove of Memories
Eight: Narratives of disablement and ablement: Jayapraga Reddy’s The Unbending Reed and On the Fringe of Dreamtime and Other Stories
Nine:` Simultaneity of discourse’ in Agnes Sam’s Jesus is Indian and Other Stories
Ten: Voice and silence in the writings of Farida Karodia
Eleven: Struggle autobiography: Coolie Doctor by Dr Goonam
Twelve: Auto/biography as identity in the writings of Phyllis Naidoo
Thirteen: Transgressing boundaries; The writings of Fatima Meer