Translated by Krishna Manavalli
5 x 8 inches, 296 pp. May 2017
ISBN : 9780857423900
Rs 599.00 (HB)
Chandrasekhar Kambar is one of the most accomplished Indian writers working today. In each of Kambar’s novels, the archetypical Mother, Karimayi, is at the centre. The narrative of Karimayi moves through an astounding time span, beginning with the mythopoetic times of Goddess Karimayi’s birth and continuing through the historical and cultural shifts in the life of a small rural community called Shivapura during the British colonial era.
Karimayi breaks the familiar narrative of an idyllic and traditional village community being destroyed by the incursion of modernity. Instead, the multilayered narrative of Karimayi weaves everything into itself—the story of the village’s past, the myth of Karimayi, the disorder that sets in with the invasion of colonial modernity and the lure of the city and, most importantly, of the disruption of another form of ‘native’ modernity that the village community has already begun to incorporate into its rhythms of life. Cleverly challenging colonial cartography, Kambar’s book plays with the idea of an eternal India that exists between myth and reality.
Chandrasekhar Kambar, a highly acclaimed dramatist, poet, cultural critic and fiction writer in Kannada, was awarded India’s highest literary award, Jnanpeeth, in 2010. Along with his acclaimed novels, Kambar has also written many critical works on folk theatre and literature.
Krishna Manavalli is currently a professor of English at Karnatak University, Dharwad, India. She is a translator of Kannada literary and cultural writings into English and also writes about contemporary Kannada literature in leading Indian newspapers.