My Name Is Sita
My Name Is Sita

My Name Is Sita

18.00 kn 135,62
Dobavljivost: dobavljivo

In 1969, Bea Vianen rose to prominence as a writer in both her native Suriname and its European colonizer, the Netherlands, with the publication of My Name Is Sita.

Set in the 1950s in the Caribbean Dutch colony during an era of social and ethnic turmoil, this coming-of-age novel shadows Sita, a young East Indian girl, as she copes with the loss of her mother and defends herself against her father’s many mistakes, while also trying to care for her younger brother and carve out a life for herself in a staunchly rigid culture. Beneath the festering, lush, and humid tropical setting, Sita’s struggles only become more difficult with her best friend’s departure and an unwanted pregnancy.

Now considered a contemporary Dutch classic, My Name Is Sita makes it all too clear what women have had to, and continue to, sacrifice in the name of claiming their identity.

 

Ajodiadei’s silver bracelets jingle in the silence of the falling evening. S.’s mind is bursting with questions. They are always the same questions that never get answered. Why did this woman, of all people, have to adopt Janakya’s child? Were there no other women who left India at the same time as her grandparents? Had the child perhaps been abandoned by Harynarain? Was there really no one else?

Suddenly, the woman starts coughing. S. jumps, startled, and the enamel tub slips from Ajodiadei’s limp hands. The woman tries to straighten up. Bluish blood fills the wrinkles in her cheeks. S. remains calm. The fear and hesitation, the anticipation with which she knocked, have given way to impassivity and coldness. She knows who’s sitting in front of her.

Her thoughts start to wander. It was on a similar afternoon that she heard her mother cough for the last time. It had rained for a few hours. The air was cool. The light had bid farewell to the people on the streets and in the houses. To the green palms, the mango trees, and the guava. The clouds of the setting sun were bloodred. A farewell not to be forgotten. She recalls the sheets—the sheets limp from the blood her mother coughed up. There was no nurse around. She stood in front of her father and watched in a kind of ecstasy as the scene quickly unfolded. Sheets, yes sheets, and what else? The face could hardly be called a face. Kindness, gentleness, and beauty had disappeared behind a mask of absurd indifference. A docility you only find in a dog that’s been nearly beaten to death. The eyes had sunken so deep that it didn’t even hurt to poke them. At the temples, her thick black hair was drenched in sticky blood. The blood of a dying person. Her mother opened her mouth. She wanted to say something to S., anything. She tried to do it with a couple of limp fingers in the air and then on the sheet above her ribs. Something like that can only happen to you once. The first time is always the worst. There is only one time. Goodbye, Mama, she wanted to say. Is there an afterlife, Mama? A nirvana, Mama? A place where you will be more than a number?

 

Bea Vianen (1935-2019) is one of the most important and groundbreaking Dutch Caribbean authors of the 1970s, writing about entrapment and escape, freedom and the lack of it. Her prose and poetry revolve around her Hindu heritage and the effects of colonialism in Suriname. My Name Is Sita (1969), in which she describes the sense of suffocation in her native country with extraordinary sharpness, became a classic both in the Netherlands and Suriname.

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Additional features
Value 1 21 cm
Value 2 700 gr.
Value 3 10 person
Value 4 14 cm
Value 5 plastic

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