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In reading three Partition narratives by Pakistan women discussed here, this chapter is particularly interested in the way history, personal and political, appears in their writing. The writing is marked by complex feelings of anger at how history came to unfold on the subcontinent; also how loss of land, home, and family, as well as nostalgia for a larger subcontinental ethos now gone forever, figure in their writing. Though these narratives are not autobiographies in the strict sense of the term, they are deeply autobiographical in sentiment, enabling the women to speak for a larger feminine self beyond personal experience that is, in a sense, more poignant, as the individual self cannot exist outside history, particularly at its most intensely violent moment in the subcontinent. And yet the violence is not the driving emotional force of the writing; instead it is the household as the web of relations at the individual and the larger political level that is the locale of the intensely felt experiences of the female protagonists. It may be that through these narratives we can understand something about the cultural memory of the subcontinent, which helps us as individuals to mediate or modify difficult moments in our pasts.

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