PENGUIN presents two collections of short stories of flawed, rebellious and most importantly real women. Women who Misbehave and Impetuous Women. These are stories of women who step across the Laxman Rekha, who are unapologetic, strong and unconventional but always flawed.
Women Who Misbehave, much like the women within its pages, contains multitudes and contradictions-it is imaginative and real, unsettling and heartening, funny and poignant, dark and brimming with light. At a party to celebrate her friend’s wedding anniversary, a young woman spills a dangerous secret. A group of girls mourns the loss of their strange, mysterious neighbour. A dutiful daughter seeks to impress her father even as she escapes his reach. A wife weighs the odds of staying in her marriage when both her reality and the alternative are equally frightening. An aunt comes to terms with an impulsive mistake committed decades ago. In this wildly original and hauntingly subversive collection of short stories, Sayantani Dasgupta brings to life unforgettable women and their quest for agency. They are violent and nurturing, sacred and profane. They are friends, lovers, wives, sisters and mothers. Unapologetic and real, they embrace the entire range of the human experience, from the sweetest of loves and sacrifices to the most horrific of crimes.
Impetuous Women is about women who step across the Lakshman Rekha, whose transgressions fly in the face of the establishment, the patriarchy, often their own families and loved ones. From two housewives who play a potentially lethal game of keeping up to an expert baker who serves revenge with chocolate sprinkles on top; from a stern hostel warden who examines her relationship with the teenagers she must surveil to a grouchy widow shuts out the world; From a couple madly in love and desperate for a bit of privacy to a tender bond between a husband and wife, these stories create an unforgettable portrait of modern-day India and the experiential realities of being impetuous, of being women. This darkly comic, thrillingly tragic collection of stories is sensuous, bittersweet and whimsical by turns, and always wildly, subversively original.
About The Authors
An alumna of St. Stephen’s College and Jawaharlal Nehru University, Sayantani Dasgupta received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Idaho. She is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is the author of Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, & the In-Between -a finalist for the Foreword Indies Awards for Creative Nonfiction-and the chapbook The House of Nails: Memories of a New Delhi Childhood. Her writing has appeared in over fifty literary journals and magazines, including, The Hindu, The Rumpus, Scroll, Economic & Political Weekly, IIC Quarterly, Chicago Quarterly Review, and others. She has been awarded a Centrum Foundation fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize Special Mention. Besides the US, she has taught creative writing in India, Italy, and Mexico. Sayantani is also the winner of Season 3 of Write India, adjudged by the novelist Kavita Kane, and organized by the Books division of The Times of India.
Shikhandin is the nom de plume of an Indian writer who writes for adults and children. She is an alumnus of the Anam Cara Writing Workshop, Ireland. Her published books, as Shikhandin, include “Immoderate Men” (Speaking Tiger), and “Vibhuti Cat” (Duckbill-Penguin-RHI). Contributor to Magic Stories for Eight Year Olds by Penguin RHI, and Flipped: An Anthology of School and Sports Stories by Harper Collins. Shikhandin’s honors include, pushcart nominee by Aeolian Harp (USA) 2019, winner 2017 Children First Contest curated by Duckbill in association with Parag an initiative of Tata Trust, first prize Brilliant Flash Fiction Contest 2019 (USA), runner up half and One Short Story Competition (India), Shortlist Erbacce Poetry Prize (UK), 35th Moon Prize (Writing in a Woman’s Voice: USA), first runner up The DNA-OoP Short Story Contest 2016 (India), second prize India Currents Katha Short Story Contest 2016 (USA), first prize Anam Cara Short Fiction Competition 2012 (Ireland), long list Bridport Poetry Prize 2006 (UK), Finalist Aesthetica Poetry Contest 2010 (UK), Pushcart nominee by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2011 (Hong Kong). Shikhandin’s poetry and prose have been published worldwide.