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Dissident FriendshipsFeminism, Imperialism, and Transnational Solidarity$
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Elora Halim Chowdhury and Liz Philipose

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040412

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040412.001.0001

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The Space Between Us

The Space Between Us

Reading Umrigar and Sangari in the Quest for Female Friendship

(p.160) Chapter 7 The Space Between Us
Dissident Friendships

Elora Halim Chowdhury

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the idea of friendship between women across cultures as a basis for social and political transformation. Deploying a transnational feminist analysis, the chapter enjoins Thrity Umrigar's novel The Space Between Us with Kumkum Sangari's essay “Consent, Agency, and Rhetorics of Incitement” to further a discussion on solidarity among women. The novel, arguably, revolves around the challenges to and potentials of dissident friendship. Set in Mumbai, India, Thrity Umrigar's second novel is about class-differentiated patriarchal oppression, the difficult choices women make within it, and their uneven consequences. The novel traces the parallel yet intertwined lives of the two protagonists, Sera, an upperclass Parsi, and Bhima, her elderly maid. While the women share a genuine friendship, it is born and nourished within insurmountable inequality.

Keywords:   social transformation, political transformation, transnational feminist analysis, The Space Between Us, female solidarity, marginal friendships, anti-imperialism, inequality, dissident friendships, Thrity Umrigar

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