Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal
By D. Jayakanthan
Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidargal (Of Men and Moments) captures the chequered life of the protagonist Ganga with sensitivity and empathy. Stumbling into sex with a millionaire playboy as an innocent teenager; ruthlessly driven out of the house; sheltered and educated by a benevolent uncle, a man of erudition with a lecherous streak; occupying a senior Government position; her man, Prabhu re-entering her life, now as a man of dignity, keen to see her settled in marriage; her total rejection of the idea, followed by bitterness and wantonness – the novel captures the indomitable spirit of a woman of courage and discernment. It won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1972.
About the Author
D. Jayakanthan (1934) has written 14 novels, over 30 novellas, over 130 short stories, hundreds of essays and four ‘autobiographical’ works. An iconoclast who ridiculed exploitative social norms, his works reveal a deep and nuanced understanding of society. In an exceptional literary career spanning over half a century, and straddling several genres, he has won many honors and awards.
By Rajam Krishnan
Translated into English to Water For The Roots by Pattu M. Bhoopathi
Verukku Neer is written in a period where the first generation Gandhian politicians are almost done with their ruling and the new generation of politicians who didn’t have any motive to serve the people is coming to power. The novel exhibits the anger of a woman (Yamuna) who follows Gandhian values all her life and also the struggle she faces with the materialistic world around her. It conveys a message on Gandhian values, feminism, democracy vs. socialist thoughts, environmental awareness, philosophy, etc. With its interplay of ideologies, however, ends on a hopeful note. The novel won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1973.
About the Author
Rajam Krishnan started publishing her work in her twenties. She is known for writing well researched social novels on the lives of people usually not depicted in modern Tamil literature like poor farmers, salt pan workers, small-time criminals, jungle dacoits, under-trial prisoners, and female laborers. Her works include forty novels, twenty plays, two biographies, and several short stories. In addition to her own writing, she was a translator of literature from Malayalam to Tamil.
Suzhalil Mithakkum Deepangal by Rajam Krishnan
Translated to English as Lamps In A Whirlpool by Uma Narayanan
The book is a lucid portrayal of different kinds of patriarchal oppression within the family. The intimate portrait of the housewife Girija would resonate well with (most, if not all) women ‘homemakers’ of 2019. The feminist treatment of this story about a housewife’s self-respect is especially impressive for its lucid language. Rajam Krishnan examines and portrays the golden cage of patriarchy that binds women within the house and hopes for a real transformation of values within society.
By Ki. Rajanarayanan
Translated into English as Gopallapuram by Pritham K Chakravarthy
A highway robber murders a pregnant young woman for her jewellery. He is caught and sentenced to death by impalement in Gopallapuram. A community of Telugu speakers migrates to the Tamil country to escape Muslim rule. They transform a barren land, turning it into a fertile, verdant village. A horde of bandits attempts to raid a village but the attempt is foiled by the unarmed, inventive villagers. Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1991, Ki. Rajanarayanan weaves legend, myth, history and good old-fashioned storytelling in this wonderful contemporary classic.
About the Author
Ki. Rajanarayanan has spent over five decades gathering the most exotic tales of his favorite land, Karisal Kadu—the scorched drought-stricken land in Tamil Nadu. Popularly known as Ki. Ra., he is a powerful storyteller. His short story Mayamaan (1958) is considered the hallmark of the golden age of modern Tamil literature.