These deceptively simple stories uncover both the complexity and irony of women's lives in Bhutan today. They show how ordinary lives, choices and experiences are both remarkable and poignant. In I am a Small Person, a despised woman uses her femininity as a means to control a man, the young girl in I Won't ask Mother suddenly feels empowered and confident when she makes a decision without consulting her mother.
All the stories take place in rural settings, to which creeping urbanisation brings gradual change, and tensions surface between the new and the old, or the traditional and the modern. For many rural women, being able to connect to the city and all its perceived power and glamour is a very real aspiration. This yearning is exemplified in Look at her Belly Button, where a young woman effortlessly slips out of the role of a farmer to become a 'real Bhutanese' urbanite.
As the number of COVID-19 cases in the Delhi/NCT region continues to exponentially rise, the Zubaan team has taken the decision to continue to keep our office in Shahpur Jat closed. Our online store remains closed until further notice as well. Retailers and bookshops in India can contact our domestic distributors (Penguin Random House India) to place orders for our books.
We will reevaluate reopening as and when the public health crisis improves.