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Imaginary Maps 2nd Edition

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415904636
ISBN-10: 0415904633
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The author of several novels, Devi is best known in India, especially in her native Bengal (Bangladesh). In this collection of three powerful stories, she exposes the conditions of tribal peoples in India. Some readers will not like her journalistic style, but U.S. and Canadian readers will find many painful parallels to Native American fiction in Devi's stories. These three focus on the surviving bonded labor system and its deleterious effects on men and women. In "The Hunt," Devi highlights the role of women resisting not only the destruction of the environment and tribal traditions but also the exploitation of women in postcolonial India. Translator Spivak has published two of Devi's other stories in her collection of essays, In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics (1987). Imaginary Maps features an interview with Devi and Spivak's critical commentary, which is unfortunately not for beginners. Recommended for more scholarly collections.
- Faye A. Chadwell, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


. . . when the world is broadly divided simply into North and South, the World Bank has no barrier to its division of that world into a map that is as fantastic as it is real. This constantly changing map draws economic rather than national boundaries, as fluid as the spectacular dynamics of international capital..
–Gayatri Spivak, from Imaginary Maps

Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (November 18, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415904633
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415904636
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #611,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bob Tripper on December 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Spivak presents a collection of three of Devi's stories. Devi, a journalist and "organic intellectual" who has focused largely on women's issues and globalization, serves here to detail the intricacies of global capitalism and alienation. Devi's stories are powerful as works of literature, and heartwrenching as stories representative of true-to-life experiences.

Spivak's introduction is informative, dense and jargony, but of course integral to an understanding of the works at hand. She pleads the American reader to not "museumify" the writings that she translates, that is not to view them as representative cultural artifacts to be observed and objectified. This is an important ideal to abandon when reading Devi's work because it is representative of so much more than words on a page, more than painstakingly detailed characters. Devi's writing is historically and contextually complex, and deserves acclaim for its purpose rather than its literary characteristics.

Accordingly, the language seems bland. Perhaps something was lost in translation, or perhaps this functions to strengthen Devi's ultimate purpose as a writer.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Swan on April 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a powerful exposé of the effects of global capitalism, told in the form of three colorful, sometimes humorous, sometimes painful, highly readable stories. It gives an insider's look at the current realities faced by tribal peoples in India and challenges the privilege of those who look on or look away without committing to making change.
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