Ginu Kamani was born in Bombay, India and moved to the U.S. at age 14. She graduated with an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Kamani returned to Bombay for three years to work in film production before returning to the U.S., where she spent time as a professor at Mills College and continued to work on writing and film projects. Two of her short stories from Junglee Girl and several of her poems were published under her full name, Gaurangi Kamani, in the anthology Our Feet Walk the Sky: Women of the South Asian Diaspora. Kamani currently uses her knowledge of herbs, oils, and gardening in her work with woodsmen-artist-farmers in a volcanic rainforest environment in Dominica.
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.
Women of the South Asian Diaspora
This compilation is the first comprehensive work to focus on South Asian American and South Asian immigrant women in the U.S. It represents a pioneering effort to collect the critical essays, creative works and personal histories by and about women of South Asian descent. The diverse expressions of identity and experience found here enable us to begin to see how women of South Asian origin define their positions within their respective communities, within wider interethnic networks, and within national and international social, economic, and political frameworks which impact women's lives, both in the United States and in South Asia.
PRAISE FOR JUNGLEE GIRL
This collection of delightful and sometimes provocative stories surprise and arouse…Ginu Kamani’s stories are tinged with humour and are often disturbing in their exploration of taboo passions and desires. Kamani is an original storyteller who writes from ‘inside’ the culture, claiming a rightful space for Indian women to define themselves.
Junglee Girl is a delightfully seditious collection of tales, like some profane kama sutra of contemporary India.
—San Francisco Review of Books
Ginu Kamani, a gifted, savvy writer, combines such precarious, complex elements as class, caste, gender and eroticism into readable, imaginative and often hilarious tales."