Readers of Desi Readers, we have something very latest and way better for you this Saturday. We have our hands on The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter, a memoir and the debut work by Shilpa Raj, an author who has been constantly in the buzz because of her first book as well as her role in the Netflix Original’s Daughters of Destiny. Shilpa Raj belongs to a poor family and her childhood was spent with her mind swaying to and fro between Shanti Bhavan’s life & that of her parent’s place. Shilpa’s memoir records many events from her childhood and her youth which reflect on some of the serious problems in our society. She has rung the bells of panic which directly asks questions of us, as a society, as a nation and as a state which is looking ahead to the future – are we okay with a certain section of our population being neglected and compelled to live a life which is not live-worthy?
Published by Rupa Publications and launched in India among many important guests from literary and public life on 28th July, The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter has been rated very high by some of the prominent persons and book critics, not only in India but worldwide. Kirkus Reviews has also rated the book well with praises for the writing of Shilpa Raj, the author. And why not? Shilpa has turned the tables with her very first book. The narrative which she has used to write her memoir, or in general terms, a ‘something short to a general autobiography’, becomes a universal language for all those who belong to the marginalised societies in India which people here call Dalits. She has recorded the ordeals which the family in those societies have to go through to keep running.
Shilpa has also stated in her book how important education is, especially for the girls who have to face severe challenges in the life. She has raised the issues of feministic values; she has raised the issues of status quo we maintain in the society when it comes to defining the role of women in the family. Shilpa’s artistic craft has done very well in evoking the pathos out of the readers. She has been successful in revealing the hypocrisy of the society.
Other than these serious issues, Shilpa has also mentioned the story of her sister Kavya who died tragically in some mysterious condition. Her bonding with her younger sister has come alive through the emotional details which she has mentioned in the book. In an interview, Shilpa has told that the chapter (8) in which she comes close to her father emotionally is the nearest to her heart because she gets to know many things through her father… the life, the problems, the traditional ordeal and a hopeless future…
One thing which is the silver lining in the book is Shilpa’s determination to continue the struggle and not to give up. She has mentioned in the book how she was being prepared to marry her maternal uncle but she somehow resisted and continued her education and eventually became successful! She has become a seminal example for the girls who think women are to be confined inside the four walls!
You can get a copy of Shilpa Raj’s The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter from Amazon and also get some discounts. Below is the link to the book on Amazon: