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Cover of Urban Shots Edited by Paritosh Uttam

Cover of Dreams in Prussian Blue by Paritosh Uttam

Manju Kapur

Manju Kapur (b. 1948) lives in New Delhi and teaches at the Miranda House College.Photograph of Manju Kapur

Manju Kapur’s debut novel Difficult Daughters earned her substantial success, both commercially and critically, in India as well as abroad. A feministic tradition is strongly apparent in both her novels. The search for control over one’s destiny is the key theme.

Manju Kapur was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book (Eurasia Section).


Difficult Daughters

Difficult Daughters is set during India’s independence struggle and is partially based on the life of Kapur’s own mother, Virmati. Set around the time of partition, it is the story of a woman torn between family duty, the desire for education, and illicit love. Virmati, a young woman born in Amritsar into an austere and high-minded household, falls in love with a neighbor, the Professor—a man who is already married. She enters into a scandalous relationship with the Professor. The relationship parallels India’s battle for freedom, and eventually Virmati becomes the Professor’s second wife. The book is set mostly in Amritsar and Lahore.