In Gender and Genre in the Folklore of Middle India, Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger analyzes six representative Indian folklore genres from a single regional repertoire to show the influence of their intertextual relations on the composition and interpretation of artistic performance. Placing special emphasis on women’s rituals, she looks at the relationship between the framework and organization of indigenous genres and the reception of folklore performance. The regional repertoire under examination presents a strikingly female-centered world. Female performers and characters are active, articulate, and frequently challenge or defy expectations of gender. Men also confound traditional gender roles. Flueckiger includes the translations of two full performance texts of narratives sung by female and male storytellers respectively.
"In this superbly crafted, absorbing book, Flueckiger explores the relationships among folklore genres in the Chattisgarh region of north India, achieving a pioneering model of the study of a ‘folklore system’ in its entirety. This is ethnographic scholarship at its best. The multigenre approach is a major contribution, and this rich book should be read by all students of folklore, literature, performance, and South Asia."
"Based on fifteen months of original research at the boundary between the states of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, as well as on many return visits over the course of fifteen years, this book is one of the most wide-ranging, meticulous, and insightful monographs on Indian folklore ever published."
Gloria Goodwin Raheja