The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India


Product Details

Duke University Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 0.9 X 9.2 inches | 1.3 pounds
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About the Author

Urvashi Butalia is Director and Cofounder of Kali for Women, India's first feminist publishing house. An active participant in India's women's movement for more than two decades, she holds the position of Reader at the College of Vocational Studies at the University of Delhi.


"This is a magnificent and necessary book, rigorous and compassionate, thought-provoking and moving. Oral history at its best."--Salman Rushdie
"The Other Side of Silence is without a doubt one of the most important books ever to be written about the Partition of the Indian subcontinent. More than a history, more than a memoir, it is also an extended reflection on narrative form. Official history has always flinched from acknowledging the full extent of the human cost of Partition. Urvashi Butalia shows us why we cannot afford to forget the suffering, the grief, the pain, and the bewilderment that resulted from the division of the subcontinent. [This] is an extraordinary achievement."--Amitav Ghosh
"[L]ays bare the passions of fear and hatred that too often drive the India-Pakistan relationship. . . . The raw horror of it all is mitigated by the author's skillful prose, which draws the reader into the Indian story."--Foreign Affairs
"Selective amnesia and memory are at the root of the relationship between human beings and their history. This book pierces that amnesia, elicits buried memories, and lays the foundations for a more evolved relationship between human beings on this subcontinent and their histories of gendered and communal violence."--Kavita Punjabi, Telegraph (Calcutta)
"Butalia is a pioneer in feminist publishing in India. She is especially alert to the presence--and absence--of marginal voices. . . . [T]he study of popular interpretations of violence as well as the persistence of memory makes this book a critical, self-reflective work. It may seem paradoxical, but the book's freshness comes also from the fact that it examines wounds that have festered for more than fifty years."--Amitava Kumar "The Nation "
"Butalia's book is remarkable for the author's critical analysis of her own experiences as well as of the existing literature, and for her skillful demonstration of how the memory of Partition continues to affect India today."--Publishers Weekly
"Butalia's narratives shed light upon the role of religion in shaping identities of families and communitites."--Chandra S. Mallampalli "Books & Culture "
"Libraries collecting on genocide, migrations, and freedom struggles definitely need this work."--Library Journal
"Butalia has collected some fascinating material."--Akash Kapur "New York Times Book Review "