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Drawing on the memoirs of two male actors in the commercial Parsi theater of the early twentieth century, this chapter queries the construction of womanhood, religious identity, and autobiography itself. Planted in vernacular, largely oral, systems of communication and knowledge, these artists speak in stylized registers. Their autobiographies reveal a kind of doubled performativity, by which the self is twice created, both as a stage performer and as a social being. In the case of Jayshankar Sundari, a female impersonator of the highest order, the chapter analyzes the revealing and occlusion of the transgendered self. For Fida Husain, a Muslim...

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