Zubaan is an independent non-profit publishing house. It grew out of India’s first Feminist publishing house, Kali for Women. Founded by Urvashi Butalia, who was co-founder of Kali for Women, Zubaan was set up to specifically continue Kali’s work. Zubaan, has inherited half the backlist of Kali so that reprints of many backlist titles are assured. The word ‘Zubaan’ comes from Hindustani and means, literally, tongue, but it has many other meanings, such as voice, language, speech and dialect.
I just discovered this feminist press in New Delhi and I am excited about the books they publish. Their books include novels and short stories, autobiographies, nonfiction and scholarly research and children’s books. They also republish classic writing by Indian women.
They define themselves as a feminist press and have a broad understanding of what this feminist perspective means. To them, and to me, feminism is a worldview rather than a label to be attached or a cause to be supported. They explicitly refuse to publish direct endorsements of globalization, violence, militarism or pornography. They publish individuals who do not necessarily consider themselves feminists in a personal sense whose work is woman-centered. The result is a wide range of books that focus on women, including some scholarly research of little studied groups.
Elen at southasiabookblog recently posted the information that Zabaan books would be available as ebooks; making them much easier for those of us not in India to acquire. When I went to their site, I didn’t see that this has happened. I was still impressed by the books they publish, and grateful to Elen for telling me about the press. Looking over the titles I am eager to read some of their books
Here are a sampling of ones that I found tempting: