Sawnet - Bookshelf -
Born and brought up in the hot, dusty plains of Uttar Pradesh, Jawhara Saidullah credits her love of writing to too-frequent power cuts and no television. With a Masterís degree in Communications, Jawahara currently works as a computer book editor though she has been a college instructor and a technical writer in other incarnations. Her work has appeared in several publications, including the recent Seal Press anthology, Voices of Resistance. She was a weekly columnist for Mid-Day in Mumbai and is a regular columnist for www.chowk.com. Jawahara divides her time between Boston and Geneva with her husband and a very spoilt dog named Naina.
- The Burden of Foreknowledge
IndiaInk/Roli Books, New Delhi. (2006)
- In 16th century India, when Nadee is swept away by the raging Yamuna, her life itself becomes a journey. A journey that takes her from her devastated village, Zameerpur, to the burning ghats of Kashi, to the courts of Agra and then on to the city of dreams, Fatehpur-Sikri.
Even as her life intertwines with history, barriers between the future and the past, the dead and the living break down until they become indistinguishable. In Akbarís Hindustan, Nadee is the eternal wanderer and soothsayer.
She is doomed to love Kashiís unattainable King of the Dead, the Dom Raja, to serve the legendary courtesan, Chhapan Choori, and then the almost mythical emperor, Akbar. When her newborn son, the legacy of her love, disappears, she slides further into madness and despair as she searches desperately for her one link to herself.
Nadee is blindingly aware of her destiny, though she remains powerless to change it. The Burden of Foreknowledge is a story that traces an unusual life, a life that brushes against greatness but remains inexorably trained towards its own ultimate fate. As the boundaries between reality and fantasy collide, the story reaches its climactic conclusion in the abandoned and desolate city of dreams, when Nadee finally achieves what has been predestined.
- Sawnet Review by Nalini Iyer
South Asian Women authors