The essays in this book suggest ways in which the tangled skein of Partition might be unravelled. Two of them deal with culture and history in what is now a part of Pakistan. Other contributors range over issues as diverse as literary reactions to Partition; the relief and rehabilitation measures provided to Partition refugees; and the Dalit claim, at the prospect of Partition, to a political community differentiating them from caste-Hindus. The power of 'national' monuments to evoke a historical past, and the power of letters to evoke more immediately poignant pasts, are themes in some of the other essays. Imaginatively written, and grounded in painstaking scholarship, this is a collection for all interested in their own histories.
Suvir Kaul teaches English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Poems of Nation, Anthems of Empire (2000) and of Thomas Gray and Literary Authority (1993).