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Asha Kanwar


Asha Kanwar is an Indian woman who lives in New Delhi where she teaches English at the Indira Gandhi National Open University. After a traditionally arranged marriage at eighteen, she continued her education mainly supported by various scholarships. A British Council grant enabled her to obtain her Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Sussex, England, where she wrote her doctoral thesis on British Marxism and the nineteenth century novel. Asha received a Fulbright fellowship in 1992 for research on fiction by African American women writers which she conducted during her tenure at the English Department at Iowa State University.


Asha is the author of two critical books entitled The Novels of Virginia Woolf and Anite Desai (New Delhi: Prestige, 1989) and Fictional Theories and Three Great Novels (New Delhi: Prestige, 1990). She has translated Ngugi wa Thiong’o's novel Matigari into Hindi (New Delhi: Atma Ram, 1991). She plans to translate stories from The Unforgetting Heart into Hindi, so that readers in India, especially Dalits, will have access to the expressions of a people whose resistance is similar to their own.


The Unforgetting Heart

An Anthology of Short Stories by African American Women (1859-1993)

Edited by Asha Kanwar

Junglee (stemming from the Sanskrit root "jungle") is used in India to label the wild, the uncivilized, the untamed. Used most commonly as condemnation or censure, it aims to break the spirit of women yearning for personal power. The female protagonists in these eleven stories recklessly pursue their sensual paths through a complex social world that seeks to shut them out. With wily irreverence and a willful rawness, Kamani pulls back the veil of convention, inch by inch, and draws the reader into the disquieting truth of women's lives, charting territory both intimate and bizarre.


The Unforgetting Heart: What an appropriate title! What a stunning collection! These unforgettable stories—from laundry room to ballroom, from Brooklyn to Barbados, from colored folks to African Americans—will sweep into your life with all the variety, verve, intellect and heart of the women who produced them.”

—Tina McElroy Ansa, author of Baby of the Family and Ugly Ways

“The Unforgetting Heart... will make you laugh, bring tears to your eyes and touch the very depths of your souls. Most of all, The Unforgetting Heart will capture yours.”

Johnetta B. Cole, President, Spelman College

“Often touted as great oral storytellers, African American women have nonetheless been ignored as short story writers. The Unforgetting Heart is a lively historical sampling that will challenge readers, teachers and scholarly views of African American women’s contributions to cultural/literary history.”

—Barbara Christian, author of Black Feminist Criticism and Black Women Novelists, Professor of African American Studies, UC Berkeley

“This anthology will be a rewarding addition for women’s studies    collections, as a resource for new discoveries and old favorites.”


“Asha Kanwar has collected some of the best Black female writers of all time, adding to that voices buried under years of neglect. All of them shimmer with a new radiance, and an immediate intimacy…a rare jewel. Its time has come indeed.”

—Seattle Gay News

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