Monisha Raman explores Karukku, a seminal work on Dalit life by Bama, which remains the most important work penned by a Dalit woman about living in a small town in Tamil Nadu as a member of a suppressed group, even after 25 years of publication.

When Karukku was first published in 1992, it came in for much criticism from many Tamil literary stalwarts. At a literary festival, an established writer called it reportage. The colloquial language used in the narration was not welcome by many in the writing community. However, the work established itself as among the most prominent voices in Dalit feminism. The English translation by Lakshmi Holmstrom, published by Oxford India Paperback in 2000, is having a successful run with its second edition.  This work holds the credit of being the first autobiography of a Dalit woman writer from Tamil Nadu.

Why does Hamlet dilly-dally in avenging the murder of his father? His father’s ghost clearly exhorts him to do it. He knows it is his duty and he must do it though he does not like it. 

“… O cursed spite 

That ever I was born to set it right.” 

Taking his cue from these lines, Goethe observes, “A beautiful, pure and most moral nature, without the strength of nerve which makes a hero, sinks beneath a burden which it can neither bear nor throw off; every duty is holy to him- this too hard. The impossible is required of him- not the impossible in itself, but impossible to him.” 

he Hong Kong Public Libraries of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will hold five literary seminars for the 13th Hong Kong Biennial Awards for Chinese Literature at the Lecture Theatre of Hong Kong Central Library during August and September. This year’s adjudicators will conduct literary exchanges, themed on poetry, essays, literary criticism, children’s and youth literature, and fiction, with seminar participants to promote the appreciation and creation of various types of literary work.

Author Intizar Husain talks on how the 1947 partition inspired him to write: Meena Menon in The Hindu

Intizar_husainWriting was a hobby for Intizar Husain. He has a B.A. in English Literature, Urdu and Persian, and a Masters in Urdu. He enjoyed literary criticism; and didn’t like fiction much. But on June 3, 1947, his life was turned on its head. He had just completed his Masters in Meerut, when people began to flee the city.

“Every day, one house would be locked up and there was tension in the air. Soon the riots began,” Husain recalls in an interview on the sidelines of the second Islamabad Literature Festival.