Does Feminism Support Infidelity? Through The Novels of Manju Kapur with Special Emphasis on Home and a Married Woman


Dhanya Panicker
Kerala, India


Infidelity;Feminism;New Women;Married Woman;novels of Manju Kapur


An internationally acclaimed Indian woman novelist, Manju Kapur, the Common Wealth Prize winner is also called the Jane Austen of India. Born on 6th August 1948 in Amritsar, she has lived through the turbulent times in India. She was graduated from the Miranda House University College for Women. Then she took her MA at Dalhousie University in Halifax in Nova Scotia and an M.Phil from Delhi University.  She then returned to her alma mater Miranda House as a teacher and retired from there. As her father worked in the cultural attaché in the Indian Embassy in America and Canada, she spent her childhood there. She is married to Gun Nidhi Dalmia, and has three children. She lives in Delhi.

She is one of the famous post independence feminist writers who fought for the rights of women through her novels. She has written five full length novels.  Difficult Daughters (1998), A Married Woman (2002), Home (2006), The Immigrant (2009) and Custody (2011) are her widely acclaimed novels. All her novels deal with the problems faced by Indian woman in her life and how she deals with these problems. Her debut novel Difficult Daughters won the Commonwealth Prize for First Novels (Eurasia Section) and became a best seller in India. Home was shortlisted for Hutch Crossword Book award.

Many customs like Purdah system, child marriage, Sati, ban on remarriage etc prevailed in India and all these customs marginalized women. The feminists united to eradicate these social evils from our society. Preserving the culture of India, Manju Kapur wanted her characters to be strong enough to gain their genuine rights which society once denied. She is a post colonial feminist writer who raised her voice against the traditional patriarchal culture. She is the one who introduced the concept of ‘New Woman’ in Indian novels. Till then, the Indian feminist writers dealt with the pathetic condition Indian women suffered in this male dominated society. Manju Kapur wanted her protagonists to move a step forward from these woman stereotypes. She wanted a woman who questions the rules regulated by patriarchy and who breaks all the shackles which limits her from gaining an identity of her own.  Though she craves for gender equality in all aspects, she never wants her characters, especially her women characters to move away from the culture of their mother country. There is an underlying moral in all her novels. She never wants her feminism to go beyond the limits of Indian culture. 


  • Indian Feminism
  • The New Woman
  • Feminism and Infidelity
  • Conflict Between Tradition and Modernity in Home
  • Conflict Between Self and Society in A Married Woman
  • Conclusion


April 22, 2021

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