Fasting, Feasting: Telling the story of cultural enslavement of women in the East and the West

Anita Desai tells the story of domestic lives of women constrained by cultural roles

Anita Desai’s Fasting, Feasting was shortlisted for Man Booker Prize 1999. The story alternates between two cultures and nations. It depicts life in a middle-class Indian household which is full of restrictions and prejudices about food. Another story runs parallel of an Indian adolescent far from home in America where people eat all types of meats. But it is women who suffer in the end in both the cultural settings.

 Desai’s protagonist, Uma, has dreams and aspirations but can never find the courage to tell her parents. Her parents constrain her with domestic duties. She is not alone. The book follows the lives of women who are bound in service to men and their own aspirations are never fulfilled.


Speaker | Personality Details
Indian Novelist and Short Story Writer

Anita Desai is an Indian novelist and short story writer. She has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times. She received a Sahitya Akademi Award in 1978 for her novel Fire on the Mountain. She also won the British Guardian Prize for The Village by the Sea.