In the last 200 years, women have been expressing their awareness and outrage at patriarchal oppression and have been mobilising themselves to struggle against the injustices inherent in it. Women writers have, over the last two hundred years, been claiming a space and a voice for themselves in the literary field, and feminist literary critics have been re-examining literary works, whether canonical or not, to indicate ways in which gender constructs and gender stereotypes have been reinforced or challenged through literature. This book stems from a strong conviction that there is need for feminist literary criticism that is specifically relevant to the Indian situation. Shashi Deshpande and Mahasweta Devi were deliberately chosen for analysis: they represent opposite ends of the spectrum in their political engagement, the cultural moorings of their work, the location of their narratives and the levels of consciousness they awaken in their readers. Through this analysis, the author indicates that such literary works serve to heighten awareness and articulate a protest, to present an alternative view of life, to spur the reader on to active engagement with social structures.