Scholar Critic

Nazneen Khan
Contemporary women's writing in English has moved away from the confines of domesticity to engage with the historical, political, cultural and economic dimensions of the public space. Recent years have witnessed women writers from different regions of the world gaining better visibility in the literary domain, making a more conscious and articulate attempt to speak for themselves and of the areas of experiences related to their lives. The postmodern liberalization grants women a space for their
more » ... n a space for their presence and thereby provides them opportunities to develop multiple identities for themselves. Women from different cultures are evolving new strategies to challenge or subvert dominant patriarchal ideology and to represent other images of sexuality. These attempts are part of the process of 'reading' the past, controlling the present and shaping the future. Jasbir Jain rightly observes: Women, as producers of goods, of knowledge, of posterity, as carriers of tradition and agents of change, refuse to be passive objects of desire or of subordination ... it is not only society but art as well which has had to accommodate the change in women's self-perception. (Jain 21) Contemporary women writers of SAARC fiction, apart from dealing with the traditional themes of man-woman relationship, subjugation of women, women empowerment etc., depict the larger issues of existence. Once they shift from the familiar reality and touch upon the socio-political and cultural reality of the civilization vis-à-vis the national reality, they attain a stature which is definitely greater than that of those writing purely of domestic issues. Kunzang Choden is the first Bhutanese woman to write a novel in English. Published in the year 2005, The Circle of Karma, is her first novel. Set in the 1950s, the initial period of imperially regulated modernization in Bhutan, the novel is rich in detailed descriptions of ritual life in Bhutan. The measured pace of its prose, the many nuances of the story, the different levels