Lessons in Life on the Verge of Death: Spiritual Mothering in Ai Laṛkī by Hindi Author Krishna Sobti

Florence Pasche Guignard

Abstract


Spiritual mothering and the mother-daughter relationship are two important and intertwined themes in <em>Ai Laṛkī</em>, a short novel written by Krishna Sobti, a major author of Hindi literature. This article offers a reading of this late twentieth century literary work through the lenses of maternal theory, examining how an ill, old, and dying mother attempts to pass on maternal wisdom to her unmarried daughter who will never become a mother. Several of the basic tenets of maternal theory are useful to read literary works of fiction produced in contexts where apprehensions of religion, spirituality, motherhood and the mother-daughter relationship differ from those of the contexts where the body of knowledge known as maternal theory first emerged.

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We are grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for its ongoing support of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement.