The Why Why Girl, published first in 2011, is a children’s picture book written by Mahasweta Devi. The illustrations in this book are done by Kanyika Kini. In this book, the author narrates the story of a 10-year-old girl, Moyna, who belongs to an under-privileged tribe, the Shabars. Moyna is an innocent little girl who wants to know reasons behind her endless curiosities driven by the many situations and events of her life. She questions her poverty, her inability to attend school and live life as the privileged rich merchants’ kids, and much more. She is highly inquisitive about everything around her and wants to read, write, and learn. The story unfolds when she meets the author to find answers to all her queries.
Mahasweta Devi is a renowned social activist and also a writer, with most of her works depicting her association and understanding of the various underprivileged strata of the societal structure in India. Her most noteworthy works include Queen of Jhansi, The (SEAGULL), Kshuda (Bengali) and Breast Stories. She was born in 1926 in Dhaka. She received her Masters in literature from the Calcutta University. She has played a pivotal role in the implementation of Bengal Industrialization policies brought forward by the government, in a way to help the poor retain their agricultural lands.
Good read for a young urban reader
Certified Buyer, Bangalore
4 Feb, 2013