The postmodernist phase of Indian English writing is characterized by the voices of many strong women expressing a feminist exploration of alternative discourses in women’s writing which are distinguished from the patriarchal framework of literary discourse. Along with Kamala Das, Meena Alexander, Imtiaz Dharkar, and Eunice de Souza, Menka Shivdasani is an active voice in contemporary Indian English poetry. Shivdasani is a prolific poet who has written poetry on various social, cultural, religious, and personal issues. Her four poetry collections include Nirvana at Ten Rupees (1990), Stet (2001), Safe House (2015), and Frazil (2018). Through her poetry, she has endeavored to deconstruct the constructed nature of women in patriarchal societies. However, in literary criticism, she has not been explored in detail; thus, Shivdasani deserves to be better known. She is truly an unsung voice in Indian English poetry because of her poetic excellence. The present paper will attempt to (re)visit Shivdasani’s work with particular reference to her recent poetry collection Frazil. The themes it depicts are women’s sensibilities, man-woman relationships, domesticity, myth, culture, religion, memory, loss, and the anxiety of city life. Therefore, the paper will analyze the thematic and structural aspects of her poetry, with assistance from the work of Menka Shivdasani, to move Shivdasani onto the center stage in the postmodernist phase of Indian writing in English.

Author Biography

Rangnath Thakur is a research scholar at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India. He has completed his master’s degree from Banaras Hindu University and Post Graduate Diploma in Translation Studies from IGNOU. He is working in the area of postcolonial theory and Gandhian studies. His areas of interest include critical theories, Gandhian studies, Indian English writing, and European literature. Email Id: rangnath_t@hs.iitr.ac.in, rangnath1995@gmail.com

Binod Mishra is a professor of English at IIT Roorkee who has served in various reputed institutions. He has published 24 books (18 edited and 6 authored) on various aspects of the English language and literature. He is also credited with two widely reviewed poetry collections: Silent Steps and Other Poems (2011) and Multiple Waves (2017). More than 50 of his papers have been published in reputed journals. He has received several prestigious awards in the field of literary studies. Email id: binod.mishra@hs.iitr.ac.in