FEATURE: Kerala Writing in Malayalam

With its new and diverse themes, experimental forms, representation of diversity and of regional identities, Malayalam literature has carved out a space of its own. This feature on Kerala Writing in Malayalam curated by Dr. Syam Sudhakar encapsulates a translated collection of poetry and short fiction by major contemporary Malayalam writers. It is now imperative for a broader readership to engage with the literary evolution of Malayalam through its translation. The feature opens with an interview on current trends in Kerala writing, translation and its prospects. The feature—a sequel to the one on Kerala Writing in English in Muse India Issue 111, Sep-Oct 2023—presents promising voices from contemporary Malayalam literature through a global language, facilitating cultural and linguistic transaction.  Click here >>>

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“(Translation is like) the transposal of heads in the Vikramaditya Tales. It can never be perfect, as another translation is always possible … the many translations of Pablo Neruda into English (show) this; it could well be said of Kalidasa or Shakespeare. It is this element of chance, of uncertainty, of yours being just one of the many possible versions, which makes the task challenging as well as interesting.” (K Satchidanandan in a Conversation. FEATURE on Kerala Writing in Malayalam.)


“The parallel cinema movement of West Bengal differs significantly from that of Kerala. Firstly, the parallel cinema movement in West Bengal was almost restricted to just Calcutta, whereas Kerala had film societies along the length and breadth of the state; even in remote towns and villages. … Steeped in a culture of reading and intellectual exploration, Kerala provided a fertile ground for the innovation of good parallel cinema.” (I Shanmughadas in a Conversation. FEATURE on Kerala Writing in Malayalam.)


“I struggle with articulation when talking about love. But language, especially the written word, is the only reliable tool [for a writer] to convey what otherwise can’t be said. In some sense, then, language and love are interchangeable.” (Manjiri Indurkar in conversation with Aaditya Pandey. LITERARY SECTION)


“A Gardener in the Wasteland visualizes caste in a way that challenges mainstream Brahmanical representation in both form and content. It is a multi-layered text that emphasizes the all-pervasiveness of caste across time and space.” (Bhavika Sachan and Abhinav Rai in the article on A Gardener in the Wasteland. LITERARY SECTION)


Manik Bandopadhyay’s story ‘A Leper's Wife’ translated by Vivek Singh and Nitu Mukherjee is a poignant tale of atonement. The story presents an entirely different dimension of the state of a couple – one of them afflicted by a grave disease and the other bearing the brunt of uncommitted sins. (FICTION)


The highs and lows in a lifetime can be considered as zenith and nadir. ‘Solace’ by Dipayan Chakrabarti is one such story that exposes—a point in time when reaching the peak can be exhilarating and a point in time when the loss of a loved one causes excruciating pain. (FICTION)


A Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar awardee, Johny Takkedasila embarks on a journey that challenges one’s sense of self and perception of the world, exploring the boundaries of existence. (POETRY)


Aekta Khubchandani’s poems seamlessly blend the familiar comfort of home with the vastness of the world, inviting readers on a heartfelt journey. (POETRY)


“There are rare occasions when you come across anthologies that encapsulate and transcend not just the conventional expectations of the form but also venture into thematic concerns that otherwise might be daring to venture into. This is where the anthology, “Out of Sri Lanka”, stands out.”  (Semeen Ali, in the review of ‘Out of Sri Lanka’.  BOOK REVIEWS)


“Apart from the author’s wider political concerns, two things stand out in this collection—rare moments of love, grace and benediction that catch the traveller unawares and perhaps more importantly, the nomad-author’s nuanced ways of seeing the varied world unfold.” (Dipanjan Muhuri while reviewing Dipika Mukherjee’s “Writer’s Postcards”. BOOK REVIEWS)


This Issue of Muse India is kindly sponsored by Sri Satish Verma, the Patron of Muse India.

Past Issues

Issue:114:Post-Independence Bengali Poetry

Issue:113:Contemporary Gujarati Literature

Issue:112:Conversations – Contemporary Indian Women Poets

Issue:111:Kerala Writing in English

Issue:110:Indian Graphic Novels

Issue:109:Literature of the Northeast

Issue:108:Muse India Haikai Special 2023

Issue:107:Feature: Poetry Fervour