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This book explores the urban, cosmopolitan sensibilities of Urdu poetry written in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in Lucknow, which was the center of a flourishing Indo-Islamic culture.
Ruth Vanita analyzes Rekhti, a type of Urdu poetry distinguished by a female speaker and a focus on women′s lives, and shows how it became a catalyst for the transformation of the love poem.
Ruth Vanita (1955-) is an Indian academic, activist and author who specializes in lesbian and gay studies, gender studies, and British and South Asian literary history. In 1978 in Delhi, Vanita co-founded 'Manushi: A Journal about Women and Society', a pioneering journal that combined academic research and grassroots activism, and also co-editor from 1979 to 1990. She was a reader at Miranda House, University of Delhi and in the English Department at the University of Delhi and now is Professor at the University of Montana.
She is the author of several books, and many literary translations. She has also published many articles on Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and Indian literature, in journals such as Shakespeare Survey, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, Comparative Drama, Postcolonial Studies, GLQ and Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion.