India: Writers brainstorm on role of women in literature

Are all women writers essentially feminist, and is women’s writing a separate entity? These were two questions thrown up by the keynote speaker and noted Odiya writer Pratibha Ray at the seventh Women Writers’ Conference of the Karnataka Lekhakiyara Sangha, an organisation of like-minded women writers in the State.

Ms. Ray’s questions are as old as the organisation itself, when back in 1979 a group of women decided to organise themselves into a sangha to promote works by women writers and inspire young women. Answering her question, Ms. Ray emphasised that all writers are feminists, because “inherently a good piece of writing questions the social order, and in spirit, protests against that which is wrong”. “In that sense, all writers are feminists. And while women’s writing is not a separate entity, women writers are able to bring in different kinds of sensibilities and life experiences into their writing.”

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