Distances by Vandana Singh

Here is what the jury said:

“Singh has packed this novella-length work with an amazing complexity. DISTANCES is: the story of a woman’s development as an artist in a context where science, art and religion are indistinguishable; a meditation on the uses of knowledge and the power structures they engender; and a nuanced depiction of cultural difference, loss and exile. While not as directly focused on gender as some other works on our list, we saw DISTANCES as a work that expanded and challenged a number of inherently gendered cultural categories. Also, almost incidentally, there are some very interesting depictions of alternative sex and gender arrangements.”

There is a lot to talk about in this book, but let’s just start with its Tiptree-ness. Much of the jury discussion around it had to do with whether, a work with gender imbedded in almost every aspect, but never really foregrounded, was what we were looking for.

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