This enormously influential work contains a sweeping collection of translations of over 200 texts from historical Indian women writers alongside explorations of their historical contexts. Writers include Buddhist nuns, medieval rebel poets, court historians, and, most importantly to the readers of Courtesans of India, devadasis and tawaifs.
We have tagged this book as both a primary source and a secondary source because it contains translations and interpretation. We have cited this anthology on the following posts:
- Appeasing Radhika, a collection of 584 erotic devotional poems by Muddupalani, an 18th-century devadasi.
- “Hoping to Blossom (One Day) into a Flower,” a poem by Mah Laqa Bai, a powerful 18th century tawaif.
- The poem “Cast Off All Shame” by Janabai, a 13th-century bhakti devotional poet who was not a courtesan. We’ve included her work for its thematic relevance (performance, sexuality, gender, purity, etc.)