Tomb of Sand: A Spectrum of Women’s Voices in Score Literature and Chronicles the Great Migration and Its Human Cost


By winning the International Booker Prize 2022, Tomb of Sand made history by becoming the first Hindi novel to win the prize. The book was written by Geetanjali Shree and translated by Daisy Rockwell into English, with the two sharing the prize. The book was originally published in Hindi as Ret Samadhi. It tells the story of an 80-year-old widow who decided to travel to Pakistan and deal with the trauma of partition.

The book has now joined the list of women’s voices in sheet music literature that speaks of the great migration and its human cost.

What is score literature?

In 1947, the partition resulted in the creation of India and Pakistan, where Pakistan was later divided in 1971 with East Pakistan which became Bangladesh, which remains the most traumatic historical event in the subcontinent where millions of people were displaced and estimates suggest that more than a million lost their lives. Lives.

Basically, score literature refers to the writing and exploration of the event from both sides of the border, which includes both fictional and non-fictional accounts. At present, sheet music literature is studied in some universities via related texts in specific articles or others.

What is the relevance of score literature?

The partition of August 1947 has its repercussions as it uprooted and impacted millions of lives of people from different regions like Punjab, Sindh to Tripua, Bengal and Delhi among others which are felt till date. Based on social and economic positions, different communities have been affected in different ways in society, regardless of religion and gender.

The partition literature helps bring to light the many truths that have been implicated in marginalized perspectives.

Why are the female voices in Score so important?

Until the 1990s, score literature was largely dominated by male writers and fiction that spoke of women’s experience was also viewed by men of thought such as Narendranath Mitra’s novel Jaiba (The Biological) and the short story by Saadat Hasan Manto “Khol Do” (“Open It”).

It’s not that women hadn’t been written about until then, as there were novels like Epar Ganga Opar Ganga (1968) by Jyotirmoyee Devi, which involves forced conversions, sexual violence and much more.


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