New Delhi, Dec 26: Same-sex love may be the theme of many an Indian movie these days but writings on the subject spanning over 2,000 years convincingly demonstrate that it has flourished, evolved and been embraced in various forms and it has been an integral part of Indian literature.
The anthology "Same-Sex Love in India: A Literary History" presents an array of writings on same-sex love from over 2,000 years of Indian literature. Edited by Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai, it has works translated from more than a dozen languages and drawn from Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and modern fictional traditions.
The selections range from religious books, legal and erotic treatises, story cycles, medieval histories and biographies, to modern novels, short stories, letters, memoirs, plays and poems.
From the Rig Veda to modern writers and artists like Vikram Seth, Ismat Chughtai and Bhupen Khakhar, this anthology, published by Penguin, looks to be a staple in courses on gender and queer studies, Asian studies and world literature.
The book traces the history of ideas in Indian written traditions about love between women and between men who are not biologically related.