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Lilavati

Lilavati

A Life

Govardhanram Tripathi
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An exemplar of Indian literature-the only and heart-rending biography of a daughter by her father

In a moment of rare passion Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi, author of Sarasvatichandra, exclaimed ‘I only want their souls’. He was referring to the souls of his countrymen and women, which he sought to cultivate through his literary writings. Lilavati was his and Lalitagauri’s eldest daughter. Her education and the writing of Sarasvaticandra were intertwined. She was raised to be the perfect embodiment of virtue, and died at the age of twenty-one, consumed by tuberculosis. In moments of ‘lucidity’ , she spoke of her suffering and that challenged the very foundations of Govardhanram’s life. In 1905 he wrote her biography, Lilavati Jivankala. This is a rare work in biographical literature, a father writing about the life of a deceased daughter. Despite Govardhanram’s attempts to contain Lilavati as a unidimensional figure of his imagination, she goes beyond that, sometimes by questioning the fundamental tenets of Brahminical beliefs, and at others by being so utterly selfless as to be unreal even to him.
Lilavati: A Life is a cross between literature in translation, social and political history, and women’s studies. Tridip Suhrud’s introduction dwells on the themes of the cultivation of selfhood, of nation and the ideal of sacrifice, which is sure to resonate with contemporary readership, especially women.

Imprint: India Penguin

Published: Jul/2022

ISBN: 9780143444701

Length : 272 Pages

MRP : ₹399.00

Lilavati

A Life

Govardhanram Tripathi

An exemplar of Indian literature-the only and heart-rending biography of a daughter by her father

In a moment of rare passion Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi, author of Sarasvatichandra, exclaimed ‘I only want their souls’. He was referring to the souls of his countrymen and women, which he sought to cultivate through his literary writings. Lilavati was his and Lalitagauri’s eldest daughter. Her education and the writing of Sarasvaticandra were intertwined. She was raised to be the perfect embodiment of virtue, and died at the age of twenty-one, consumed by tuberculosis. In moments of ‘lucidity’ , she spoke of her suffering and that challenged the very foundations of Govardhanram’s life. In 1905 he wrote her biography, Lilavati Jivankala. This is a rare work in biographical literature, a father writing about the life of a deceased daughter. Despite Govardhanram’s attempts to contain Lilavati as a unidimensional figure of his imagination, she goes beyond that, sometimes by questioning the fundamental tenets of Brahminical beliefs, and at others by being so utterly selfless as to be unreal even to him.
Lilavati: A Life is a cross between literature in translation, social and political history, and women’s studies. Tridip Suhrud’s introduction dwells on the themes of the cultivation of selfhood, of nation and the ideal of sacrifice, which is sure to resonate with contemporary readership, especially women.

Buying Options
Paperback / Hardback

Govardhanram Tripathi

Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi (1855-1907) was a towering figure in Gujarati literature, such that most Gujarati writers claim to have been influenced by him. The period of 1885-1915 was known as the 'Pandit/Govardhan Yug' of writing. It can be said that the modern Indian novel and the creation of the 'national' were in no small way influenced by his work.

Tripathi is the author of the classic novel quartet, Sarasvatichandra (1887-1901), known as the first Indian social novel. His other books include Snehmudra (1889) and The Classical Poets of Gujarat and Their Influence on Society and Morals (1894). Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali debuted in television in 2013 with a serial based on the Sarasvatichandra.

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