Valmiki's Ramayana is the story of Rama's exile and return to Ayodhya, a triumphant king who will always do right by his subjects.
In Volga's retelling, it is Sita who, after being abandoned by Purushottam Rama, embarks on an arduous journey to self-realization. Along the way, she meets extraordinary women who have broken free from all that held them back: husbands, sons, and their notions of desire, beauty and chastity. The minor women characters of the epic as we know it - Surpanakha, Renuka, Urmila and Ahalya, steer Sita towards an unexpected resolution. Meanwhile, Rama too must reconsider and weigh out his roles as the king of Ayodhya and as a man deeply in love with his wife.
A powerful subversion of India's most popular tale of morality, choice and sacrifice, The Liberation of Sita opens up new spaces within the old discourse, enabling women to review their lives and experiences afresh. This is Volga at her feminist best.
About the Author
Volga (Popuri Lalitha Kumari) is a noted feminist writer in Telugu. Her nearly-fifty publications include Svechcha (Freedom, 1987; novel), Rajakeeya Kathalu (Political Stories, 1992; short story collection), Neeli Meghalu (Blue Clouds, 1993; edited anthology of feminist poetry), Charitra Swaralu (Voices of History, 2001; play), and Maaku Godalu Levu (We Have No Walls, 1989; feminist essays). She has translated Agnes Smedley's Daughter of Earth (1929), Nawal El Saadawi's Woman at Point Zero (1975), Oriana Fallaci's Letter to a Child Never Born (1975), and also the script of Richard Attenborough's Gandhi (1982) into Telugu.
Among the many awards she received are the Nandi Award for the Best Story Writer (the Government of Andhra Pradesh, 1998), the Best Woman Writer Award (Telugu University, 1999), the Suseela Narayana Reddy Award (2009), Kandukuri Veerasalingam Literary Award (2013), the Lok Nayak Foundation Award (2014), and the Sahitya Akademi Award (2015). She is currently the Executive Chairperson of Asmita Resource Centre for Women, Hyderabad.
T. Vijay Kumar is Professor of English at Osmania University, Hyderabad. His research interests include postcolonial literatures, the Indian literary diaspora, translation and educational television. His has co-edited Globalisation: Australian-Asian Perspectives (2014) and Focus India: Postcolonial Narratives of the Nation (2007). He has translated into English (with C. Vijayasree; 2002) Kanyasulkam, an early 20th century Telugu classic by Gurajada Venkata Appa Rao. He is one of the founder editors of Muse India: the literary e-journal and a director of the annual Hyderabad Literary Festival.
C. Vijayasree (1953�2012) was Professor of English at Osmania University, Hyderabad and Director, Osmania University Centre for International Programmes (OUCIP). Author of nearly twenty books and fifty research papers, she was well-known in the field of postcolonial studies. Her publications include Suniti Namjoshi: The Artful Transgressor (2001), Mulk Raj Anand: The Writer and the Raj (1998), Writing the West: Representation of the West in Indian Literatures (2004; editor), Nation in Imagination: Essays on Nationalism, Sub-Nationalisms and Narration (2007; coeditor).