Synopses & Reviews
Sultana's Dream, first published in a Madras magazine in 1905-a decade before Charlotte Perkins Gilman began to serialize Herland- is a skillfully drawn, witty, and very appealing tale of reverse purdah. It posits a country, called Ladyland, in which women have taken over the public sphere and men are confined to the private, hidden world of seclusion. Moreover, women have rid Ladyland of war and turned science, including the invention of air travel and the use of solar power, to peaceful, productive ends. Sultana's Dream wittily exposes the injustices of purdah and imagines the possibilities of women's power unleashed.Publication of The Secluded Ones began in 1929 in the Monthly Mohammadi as a series of vignettes documenting women's experiences of purdah. Shocking both in 1929 and today, these stories illuminate the realities of life in purdah-sometimes painful, sometimes comic, sometimes cruel. Together with Sultana's Dream they offer a chronicle and an interpretation of purdah in South Asia in the early part of this century from the rarely recorded perspective of a Bengali woman who lived it herself.
Sultana’s Dream, first published in 1905 in a Madras English newspaper, is a witty feminist utopia—a tale of reverse purdah that posits a world in which men are confined indoors and women have taken over the public sphere, ending a war nonviolently and restoring health and beauty to the world.
"The Secluded Ones" is a selection of short sketches, first published in Bengali newspapers, illuminating the cruel and comic realities of life in purdah.
Suggested for course use in:
South Asian Studies
Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (1880 - 1932) was a Bengali Muslim writer and feminist activist who founded the first Muslim girls’ school in Calcutta in 1911.