SULTANAS DREAM BOOK
Sultana's Dream by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain ( - ). Sultana's Dream was originally published in The Indian Ladies' Magazine, Madras, resourceone.info: Sultana's Dream and Selections from The Secluded Ones (A Feminist This book presents short story "Sultana's Dream" and the recollections of. Sultana's Dream is a feminist utopian story written by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, first time in The story was later published in book form in
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The female narrator of Sultana's Dream wanders into a dream city that shuns war and violence Published March 1st by Tara Books (first published ). Rokheya Sakhawat Hossain, Durga Bai Sultana's Dream first appeared in of their brains, this slim book anticipates radical ecological and feminist themes that . Sultana's Dream first appeared in , ten years before the American feminist and novelist, Charlotte P. Gilman, published her feminist utopia Herland.
And they kept the heat stored up to be distributed among others as required. Relishing her new public freedom, the protagonist learns the history behind this fantastical otherworld. The male-run military had failed to repel an invasion by another country resulting in the tremendous loss of life. In a final bid to resist the invasion, the exhausted men agreed to retire to seclusion at their homes and turn the war over to the women. Female scientists then unleashed their sun-heat on the enemy, burning them down, and winning dominion over their country.
Through this act of mass violence, a new society, and scientific culture, was born.
The most distinguished science of this dream world was botany. This rearrangement of sentiment extended to society itself.
Here, all women were educated, and married late, while men minded the children. In the end, the narrator abruptly falls out of the dream to find herself back in her lounge chair, which was also back in her own zenana. Awake to its projections, the story invites oppressed women to dream with technoscience, social-relations, and nature at a moment of agitation for access to formal education and South Asian feminism.
Yet, the story does not reverse all axes of inequality. In this way, the story can be read as containing a decolonizing politics: Image from The Daily Star. One important way of reading this story is to celebrate the authorship of an eminent Bengali Muslim woman writer, feminist, and social reformer in the early twentieth century. Adding to this recognition, the text might also be read as an invitation to think about the relationship between technoscience, futurity, gender, and dreaming.
Dream interpretation was an established feature of medieval Muslim literature and practice, and a thick history of dream interpretation exists in Bengal. Such dream-visions can happen both when asleep and awake, as waking visions. Importantly, they are understood to come to the dreamer as opposed to being produced or authored by her.
Mittermaier instead situates Islamic dream interpretation in a long history of Islamic philosophical and theological contemplation that ponders the difficulty of distinguishing between wakefulness and dream, or between our thinking and reality. Dreams had epistemic authority that conferred divine force onto new remedies or practices. Thus, dreams are not mere flights of fancy or creations of the unconscious.
They are a source of world-making that are interacted with and bring potential, insight and innovation into the world. Dreaming can be the perception of an intangible presence or potential in a world saturated with intangibilities and held together by imaginaries.
Technoscientific speculation, joins an already rich array of potent practices that apprehend the immaterial and felt as a historical force. Women become the agents and not just the objects of speculation. Today, the story is still active as an inspiration towards fashioning a future otherwise, a stimulus to art exhibits and inspiring contemporary feminist ecological practices.
She was a feminist writer both fiction and non-fiction , critic and renowned social worker, whose bibliography isn't very I've read this amazing book a few years ago and could hardly believe that a woman from 's Bangladesh, when women were rarely given education, wrote something in English and a really good piece too! She was a feminist writer both fiction and non-fiction , critic and renowned social worker, whose bibliography isn't very big in that sense but whatever she wrote, she wrote with remarkable grace, wit and style.
We still remember her, we've grown up knowing her as a part of our culture, history, education but most of all, as a part of the woman we are today. This is by no means a review of Sultana's Dream but I'll do something later hopefully after I re-read the book. If you don't already know about her, you should BTW.
Jun 29, Jerry Jose rated it really liked it. Considering the time and place it was written, this short is a badass satire on traditional stereotypes and status quo of woman in Colonial India. In Begum's vision of a feminist utopia - Ladyland , roles are gender reversed, where females lead the future with technology while men are secluded away.
The premise and metaphors are rather impressive, for example the na Sultana's Dream was originally published in The Indian Ladies' Magazine, Madras, , in English. She playfully bashes the prevailing old school inclusiveness of then male dominated society - 'zenana's, and denigrate 'weaker species' logic.
The things that looked like science fiction in her 'wonderland', when observed now, were actually prophecies and solutions for 21st century- Solar Energy, Hydrogen weather balloons, Commercial Aviation and even competitive academics.
And there is a special charm in her writing, a narrative cuteness that keeps men from being offended, be it then, be it now. View 2 comments. Jul 15, Tisha rated it it was ok. View all 4 comments. View 1 comment. Sep 18, Kelly rated it really liked it Shelves: An all-too-brief little story, but packs a punch. Muslim feminist utopian science fiction, you say? That predicts solar power, you say??
Written in , you say??? Jean Menzies. It was really interesting reading this short feminist utopia from India. The story is understandably very simple as it is only a few pages long, but lays out various aspects of this role-reversed female-led society. Mar 07, Utsav Bansal rated it liked it Shelves: A feminist piece re-imagining the world as a matriarchal utopia, it is difficult to believe it was written in by an Indian author! Short and packs a punch. Written by a Bengali Muslim woman, this satirical short story imagines a world where women are allowed to live to their fullest intellectual and economic potential.
A sultan's wife travels to LadyLand, where the women run the world, for lack of a better term. It was written in This story was written, it was published, but more astonishingly, it survived.
Science fiction is a testament not only to who we are, but who we can be. It allows us to shed our supposed rigid Short and packs a punch. It allows us to shed our supposed rigid social barriers and imagine who we could be if we didn't have those constraints. Here is a woman of colour imagining a future in which other women of colour exist, contribute, are listened to, are an integral piece of society.
Sure they were. But we had allies and we've had people who were at the forefront of all of that prejudice since the beginning and we will always have people like that. Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain is one such example. Imagine reading this the year it was published.
Feeling validated, feeling seen, feeling as if you could've come from LadyLand, as if you were suddenly made of star stuff, infinite in all your opportunities.
This story isn't just important 'for its time', it's important because it survived. Feb 28, Kavita rated it liked it Shelves: I just came across this very short book while reading an article on the Taj Mahal.
I was interested enough in a story taking about men in the purdah and women running the State to check it out.
What is impressive about this book is that it was written by a Muslim feminist woman in The author herself has done a lot of social work by spreading awareness on women's education and has fought for the right of women to choose a career of her choice. Note, not just the right to work, but the right I just came across this very short book while reading an article on the Taj Mahal. Note, not just the right to work, but the right to choose an actual profession on her own terms!
That said, the story itself lacked complexity and hence failed to retain interest. Some of the sentiments expressed were unworkable and some others made no sense.
Crime would not just disappear if women were in charge, nor would accidents and death of youngsters vanish. The science fiction ideas were barely explored. The story is a rather naive look at a different kind of world.
A lengthier story with more showing and less telling, complex male and female characters, and an actual tale of how the tables turned might have been so awesome! This short story just whets your appetite for more, but unfortunately more is not forthcoming.
Nov 27, Shira and Ari Evergreen rated it really liked it Recommends it for: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a fun little speculative fiction short story written in , relating a conversation between two women.
One has found herself transported to a sort of different dimension where women who were formerly in purdah have turned the tables and are now in control; the country is now a peaceful, happy, utopic place.
She meets a woman who explains that they accomplished this nonviolently and more or less Dudes aren't given a lot of credit - Hossain asserts that when they contro This is a fun little speculative fiction short story written in , relating a conversation between two women.
Dudes aren't given a lot of credit - Hossain asserts that when they controlled the economy, they wasted more hours each day smoking than they did working, for example. Hossain uses often-witty dialogue to get her own ideas out to other women: At one point it's agreed between our heroine and her guide that " The woman from our own world is shocked to see women in this other dimension walking about freely and uncovered, though she has to agree that they're perfectly safe since the men are now locked up, instead.
This may be an extremely dated and simplistic story, but it's very quick and entertaining, and may be of interest to others who dig feminist speculative fiction. It's hard to find in book form, but you can read it online here: Mar 20, Nia rated it it was amazing Shelves: In , Begum Rokeya managed to figure out why women don't have equal rights and the brilliant role-reversal is honestly such a marvelous thing to read about.
This is an iconic piece of feminist literature and I'm honestly so surprised people are sleeping on it. Jan 22, Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a very brief story based in great part upon the question that i suspect most women either hear or posit at some point in their lives: What would the world be like if it was ruled by women? Sultana's Dream attempts to answer that question in a very fantastic idealistic way.
Of course, she makes it seem as if the world would be a lovely place to be. In a place where men are locked away and women are left to rule the world, there would be no war, no crime, sincere devotion to God, and scient This is a very brief story based in great part upon the question that i suspect most women either hear or posit at some point in their lives: In a place where men are locked away and women are left to rule the world, there would be no war, no crime, sincere devotion to God, and scientific advancement.
We know that nothing is quite that simple but we have to bear in mind Hossain's cultural and religious understanding as well as the fact that this was writtenin the early s where women are not only excluded from life outside of the home, but they are also secluded in purdah and appear to have absolutely no say in social or political life.
I'd say that Hossain managed in many ways to create a fissure in that barrier through her writing. All in all, it is necessary I think, to read this short story in the context of the place and time it was written in order to achieve full enjoyment and understanding. While I found Sultana's Dream simplistic and naive I did enjoy its quaint use of language, its vision, and its descriptions of the scientific advances made by women.
Nov 18, JumbleofJargon rated it liked it Shelves: This was extremely enlightening. I liked the analysis of the story and the background information provided on conditions in the Middle East and India, specifically Bangladesh and West Bengal, during the time period.
Seeing the British reaction to the circumstances put things into perspective as well. I used to share that ignorant misinformed Western outlook when it came to how women were treated in South Asia.
It was foolish of me to make conclusions without first considering how South Asian wom This was extremely enlightening. It was foolish of me to make conclusions without first considering how South Asian women felt about the situation - which is something Rokeya and other writers mentioned here did well. I think I enjoyed reading the analysis and background information more than I actually enjoyed Sultana's Dream.
I think I would have enjoyed Sultana's story more if I read it years ago I understand how revolutionary Sultana's Dream is for the time period it was published in and for that I have a lot of respect for the story and Royeka. She must have been really brave to publish such a controversial tale, make comments on the men's restrictive interpretation of the Quran and start a school for women to help them while encountering adverse feedback and criticism.
I admire Royeka's courage.
Jul 09, Kawtar Morchid rated it it was amazing Shelves: What a sweet discovery! I am really impressed that this precious story was written in !!! I need to read more works by Rokeya. It is a must in fact. The story is about a world where gender roles are inversed: A very poignant story that shows the irony of women's situation in general and Indian muslim women in particular. Apr 04, Miriam added it Recommended to Miriam by: Review by Dipika Mukherjee here: Apr 11, K.
This took me literally 5 minutes to read at the hairdresser this afternoon. And I'm so glad I picked it up. It's a feminist sci-fi short story written by a Bengali Muslim woman in The gist of the story is that a Sultana i. When she does, she dreams that she's in a place called Ladyland admittedly, that part could use some work which is basically a utopia where women are scientists and economists and ma This took me literally 5 minutes to read at the hairdresser this afternoon.
When she does, she dreams that she's in a place called Ladyland admittedly, that part could use some work which is basically a utopia where women are scientists and economists and managers and rulers who work an hour a day because women get shit done while men require seven hours a day to do their work because they spend six hours a day chatting by the water cooler and smoking. And so after one too many unsuccessful wars, the Queen of this kingdom decided that she was sick of her male prime minister telling her what to do, and decreed that men were to enter the purdah system basically like a traditional harem and be secluded from society.
As a result, there is no crime, women have invented all kinds of amazing things like flying cars and solar power and devices to farm automatically , and their religion is one that promotes love and truth above all else. In other words, this is an Edwardian man's nightmare. Yes, it's a little bit ridiculous. Yes, it's incredibly short and as such it's a little info-dumpy rather than there being any real worldbuilding.
You have neglected the duty you owe to yourselves and you have lost your natural rights by shutting your eyes to your own interests. May 07, Shahriar Kabir rated it it was amazing. To whom it may concern I want to happily challenge: Show us doing! First thing first, it is the belief to obtain that you can what will push you to do really. To every girl, Sultana's Dream is a dream only which is dreamt or thought to be dreamt. If none of you dream, then simply it's a dream, a waste dream by the writer.
But if they dream this dream then it will never stay dream rather a wonderful world of a racetrack. Getting ahead is tough, needs a lot toil, but to lag behind it's enough to ke To whom it may concern I want to happily challenge: Getting ahead is tough, needs a lot toil, but to lag behind it's enough to keep stopped than running backward.
Others will pass on ahead. Apr 02, Laurie rated it really liked it Shelves: This is such a great forward thinking story. Honestly who knew there was a Bangladshi woman writing feminist short stories at the beginning of the 20th century. What a fabulous find. Wonderfully interesting utopian fiction. I'm astonished that it was written in !
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The story is straightforward, a woman by the name Sultana is led by another woman whom she presumes to be her friend Sara, takes her to a faraway land, which is far more advanced than what she has seen in India — with solar powered kitchens, devices up in the air which stops rainfall and in turn provides endless supply of water, irrigation fully carried out using electricity, etc.
This is a land completely ruled by women and where men are confined inside the houses, the converse of what used to happen in early 20th century India. I really loved the imagination of the author in this book; to think of solar powered kitchens back in , flying machines three decades before it was invented and for putting forth feminist thoughts at a time when subjugation was considered normal and that too, hailing from one of the most conservative regions of the country which it till date is ; is something commendable.
I also liked the illustrations of Durga Bai in traditional Bengali art, especially, that of the solar powered kitchen and I guess that makes the book adorable across all age groups.In India man is lord and master, he has taken to himself all powers and privileges and shut up the women in the zenana.
And they kept the heat stored up to be distributed among others as required. I was introduced to Her Royal Highness and was received by her cordially without any ceremony. I asked my friend, 'What do they say? It is not safe for us to come out of the zenana, as we are naturally weak. Such dream-visions can happen both when asleep and awake, as waking visions.
But, as far as I remember, I was wide awake. She brought out of the parlour a piece of embroidery work and began putting on a fresh design.
They bowed low and entered the zenanas without uttering a single word of protest.
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