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June 2016 Vol. 53 No. 10

Routledge


The following review appeared in the June 2016 issue of CHOICE:

Asian & Oceanian
53-4263
PK2907
MARC
Dalit literatures in India, ed. by Joshil K. Abraham and Judith Misrahi-Barak. Routledge, 2015. 349p bibl ISBN 9781138891944, $160.00; ISBN 9781317408802 ebook, contact publisher for price.

The caste system has been part of Indian culture for centuries.  Dalits, also known as untouchables, belong to the lowest caste.  The Indian constitution, written in 1950, gave Dalits equal rights, though they continue to face discrimination.  But that has not stopped them from developing a rich literature.  At present, there are more than 220 million Dalits in India, including Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians.  Dalit Literatures in India deals with the contributions of Muslim and Christian Dalit writers, women as well as men.  The collection includes 21 well-written scholarly essays and a very useful selective bibliography of primary and secondary sources (books, journal articles, book chapters, and dissertations) on Dalit literature.  In their excellent introduction Abraham (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha Univ., India) and Misrahi-Barak (UniversitĂ© Paul-ValĂ©ry, France) deal with the history and progress of Dalit literature in India.  The book is an excellent addition to world literature, and this reviewer looks forward to studies that examine the contributions of Dalits from all religions of India.

--R. N. Sharma, Monmouth University

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.