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Yaraana

Yaraana

Gay Writing From South Asia

Hoshang Merchant
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An exploration of gay identity in South Asia.
From Ashok Row Kavi’s autobiographical piece on growing up gay in Bombay to Vikram Seth’s brilliantly etched account of a homosexual relationship in The Golden Gate, the stories, poems, plays and prose extracts in this collection cover a range of literary styles, themes and sensibilities. Mahesh Dattani’s play Night Queen is significant as one of the first serious attempts at dramatizing homosexuality on the Indian stage; the poems by R. Raj Rao included here are part of a series that formed the basis for the Bollywood film Bomgay; and the poetry of Dinyar Godrej, Adil Jussawalla and Sultan Padamsee is searing in its intensity.
Apart from the pieces written originally in English, there are works translated from Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and other Indian languages, which speak of the agony and the joy of being a man in love with other men. Extracts from the work of well-known writers including Bhupen Khakkar, Kamleshwar and Vishnu Khandekar provide a rare insight into the lives of homosexual men in India s small towns and villages. An extract from Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy details an account of growing up gay in war-torn Sri Lanka, while K.C. Ajay, an illiterate taxi driver, gives us an alternate glimpse of love and friendship in Nepal. Pieces such as these along with the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali and Iftikhar Naseem expand the scope of this collection to include writers from South Asia.
With wit, passion and courage, these writings bring to the fore the true meaning of yaraana or male friendship and bonding, an often ignored facet of South Asian life and sexuality.

Imprint: India Penguin

Published: Oct/2011

ISBN: 9780143064947

Length : 290 Pages

MRP : ₹8.99

Yaraana

Gay Writing From South Asia

Hoshang Merchant

An exploration of gay identity in South Asia.
From Ashok Row Kavi’s autobiographical piece on growing up gay in Bombay to Vikram Seth’s brilliantly etched account of a homosexual relationship in The Golden Gate, the stories, poems, plays and prose extracts in this collection cover a range of literary styles, themes and sensibilities. Mahesh Dattani’s play Night Queen is significant as one of the first serious attempts at dramatizing homosexuality on the Indian stage; the poems by R. Raj Rao included here are part of a series that formed the basis for the Bollywood film Bomgay; and the poetry of Dinyar Godrej, Adil Jussawalla and Sultan Padamsee is searing in its intensity.
Apart from the pieces written originally in English, there are works translated from Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and other Indian languages, which speak of the agony and the joy of being a man in love with other men. Extracts from the work of well-known writers including Bhupen Khakkar, Kamleshwar and Vishnu Khandekar provide a rare insight into the lives of homosexual men in India s small towns and villages. An extract from Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy details an account of growing up gay in war-torn Sri Lanka, while K.C. Ajay, an illiterate taxi driver, gives us an alternate glimpse of love and friendship in Nepal. Pieces such as these along with the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali and Iftikhar Naseem expand the scope of this collection to include writers from South Asia.
With wit, passion and courage, these writings bring to the fore the true meaning of yaraana or male friendship and bonding, an often ignored facet of South Asian life and sexuality.

Select Preferred Format

Hoshang Merchant

Born in 1947 to a Zoroastrian business-family in Bombay, Hoshang Merchant holds a Master's from Occidental College, Los Angeles. His book on Nin, In-discretions, earned him a Ph.D from Purdue in 1981, and is published by Writers Workshop which has also published eight books of his poetry since 1989. He helped establish the Gay Liberation at Purdue. Rupa and Co. published his book of poems Flower to Flame in 1992 in the New Poetry in India series. Currently he teaches Poetry and Surrealism at Hyderabad University and is unmarried by choice.

Here’s our Penguin Pride roundup!

Books see us. Book hear us. Books love us all equally. We are seen by stories and heard by words. As we close Pride Month, we decided to look back at the diverse range of stories exploring gender identities, queer experience, sexuality, and love in India. Here’s our round-up – which we hope will last […]