Same-sex Love in India
A Literary History
In 2009, the Delhi High Court's historic judgment overturning Section 377 as violative of the Indian Constitution referred to Same-Sex Love in India. So did the 2018 Supreme Court decision which upheld that judgment. All the petitions against this anti-sodomy law have cited this landmark book to prove that homosexuality is not a Western import.
Same-Sex Love in India is the book that brought to light the long, incontestable history of same-sex love and desire in the Indian subcontinent. Covering over 2000 years, from the Mahabharata to the late twentieth century, the book contains excerpts from stories, poems, letters, biographies and histories in fifteen languages. The editors' introductions to each period and text trace the changing depictions of and debates around same-sex relations, illuminating their social, political and literary contexts. These essays have been called 'outstanding works of scholarship'. Including writings that range from romantic to analytical, playful to thoughtful, this classic work will help you see Indian culture and society with new eyes.
Ruth Vanita (Author)
Ruth Vanita taught at Delhi University for twenty years and is now professor at the University of Montana. She was founding co-editor of Manushi 1978-90. She is the author of several books, including Sappho and the Virgin Mary: Same-Sex Love and the English Literary Imagination (1996); Love's Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India (2005); Gandhi's Tiger and Sita's Smile: Essays on Gender, Sexuality and Culture (2005), Gender, Sex and the City: Urdu Rekhti Poetry in India 1780-1870 (2012); Dancing with the Nation: Courtesans in Bombay Cinema (2017). Her first novel, Memory of Light, appeared in 2020.
She is the author of over sixty articles on British and Indian literature, and has translated many works of fiction and poetry from Hindi and Urdu to English, most notably Chocolate: Stories on Male-Male Desire by Pandey Bechan Sharma 'Ugra' (2008). She divides her time between Missoula and Gurgaon.
Saleem Kidwai (Author)
Saleem Kidwai is a historian and independent scholar, who taught at Ramjas College, Delhi University, for twenty years. He has published several academic essays on medieval and modern India, and translated several works, including Song Sung True: A Memoir by Malka Pukhraj and a collection of Syed Rafiq Hussain's short stories, The Mirror of Wonders. Apart from the author herself, he is the only person to have translated the novels of Qurratulain Hyder, Chandni Begum and Ship of Sorrow.