Tag Archives: J. Devika

How Sahitya Akademi winner K.R. Meera explores the dark heart of love

Reviewed by Neera Kashyap

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Title: The Angel’s Beauty Spots

Author: K.R. Meera

Translator: J. Devika

Publisher: Aleph Book Company, 2019

Starting her career as a journalist with Malayala Manorma, K.R.Meera went onto become a prolific and acclaimed Malayalam writer of short story collections, novellas, novels and children’s books. Her very first collection of short stories, Ormayude Njarampu (2002) won several regional awards. Her magnum opus and most famous novel, Aarachaar (Hangwoman) was translated into English by J. Devika in 2014. It won the prestigious Odakkuzhal Prize in 2013, the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2014, the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2015 and was shortlisted for the DSC prize for South Asian literature in 2016. J. Devika once again is Meera’s translator of The Angel’s Beauty Spots. A writer, translator and feminist, she is a teacher and researcher at the Centre of Development Studies in Kerala.

The book comprises three novellas through which the book’s jacket says, “K.R. Meera explores the tragedy, betrayal and violence that arise out of the dark heart of love.” The first novella, The Angel’s Beauty Spots begins with Angela’s murder at the hands of her estranged ex-husband in full gaze of her two young daughters, the older one from him and the younger from a married ex-lover. Driven by a blind love, she had married this man only to discover the evil in him — when he pimps her to his friend in their own house. That their older daughter is privy to this, makes Angela feel that something has died within her. Read more

‘It is not just art but an act of protest’

By Latha Anantharaman

Novelist Ambikasutan Mangad on why he joined the fight for justice for victims of endosulfan

Ambikasutan Mangad, professor of Malayalam at Nehru Arts and Science College, Kanhangad, is a novelist and writer of short stories. In his Malayalam novel Enmakaje (2009), a couple who retreat from their sorrows to an isolated paradise are drawn back into a community’s desperate struggle against the pesticides that have poisoned their water and land. As we read, we realise the photos and reports we see in the papers about the impact of endosulfan are only those that the public can “stand” to see. The novel has now appeared in an English translation by J. Devika as Swarga, and, in a phone conversation, the writer gently steers away from his own art and mythmaking to the daily nightmare of Enmakaje village. Excerpts:

In writing this novel, did you consider yourself more an activist than an artist?

In 2001, I became involved in the anti-endosulfan protest. I wrote a story, Panchuruli, which appeared in Mathrubhumi in 2002, about pesticides and their harmful effects. I became chairman of the Endosulfan Viruddha Samaram Samithi. Between 2003 and 2017, I have written 45 essays and protested about medical treatment for victims and about compensation. So, in this matter, I am an activist.

On the other hand, I am a writer. I question myself about writing a novel on this subject. Read more

Source: The Hindu