Ashapurna Debi gazed into the heart of the domestic life of the Indian woman as no other writer in the world has done. In one story after another, numbering into thousands by the time she was done, she examined the imprisonment of the women within their homes and their responses to the power play, pressures and hypocrisies lying beneath the surface of the apparent solidity of the middle-class urban family. Nobody has written as relentlessly, with as much insight and yet with as light a touch, of the darkness of both the interior and the behavioural life within the four walls of the home. Over more than 70 years of a writing career, she created an extraordinary oeuvre, whose depths will be mined for generations. Twenty-one of Ashapurna Debi�s most shocking stories, cherry-picked from over a thousand, have been brought together in this collection. Why these stories in particular? Each of them unravels an unexpected, even dreadful, side to the personalities of the women who feature in them. In every story, a deceptively quiet but potentially explosive act of revolt takes place � or comes close to taking place. Far from the sweet and submissive stereotype of the wife/mother/daughter/woman of the house that familial structures have enforced, it is the rebellious side of the woman, often forced to emerge through cruelty, viciousness and even hatred, that stands revealed. these are scandalous stories, each one of them.