Cat in the Agraharam and Other Stories
The volume is introduced by its award-winning translator, Martha Ann Selby, who worked closely with the author. The universal appeal of these stories is rooted in their utterly truthful local specificity as they explore complex themes of abduction and restoration, humiliation and despair, and related issues of identity and wholeness. Known by Tamil readers for his description and detail, Dilip Kumar also writes with humor and a deep compassion for his characters, highlighting their strengths in the face of degradation and strife. His perspective and insight build on his own status as a northerner in this southern setting for whom Tamil is a second language—much like his characters.
Praise For Cat in the Agraharam and Other Stories…
“This book is one of the finest available translations of contemporary Tamil literature. The narratives in this volume capture Dilip Kumar’s unique formations of twentieth- and twenty-first century Tamil realism inflected by autobiographical experience, and are some of the most striking Tamil short stories of our time. Martha Selby brings these literary and cultural complexities alive for English-speaking audiences through her own unique, deeply intimate style of translation.” —Davesh Soneji, author of Unfinished Gestures: Devadasis, Memory, and Modernity in South India
". . . turns toward the unexpected." —L.D. Barnes, Newcity Lit
Northwestern University Press, 9780810141551, 184pp.
Publication Date: March 15, 2020
About the Author
DILIP KUMAR is an award-winning Tamil-language writer and editor. He has published three collections of short stories and one of literary criticism and has edited two anthologies, Contemporary Tamil Short Fiction and The Tamil Story: Through the Times, through the Tides.
MARTHA ANN SELBY is a professor of South Asian studies in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the translator of Grow Long, Blessed Night: Love Poems from Classical India; The Circle of Six Seasons: Poems from Sanskrit, Prakrit, and Old Tamil; and Tamil Love Poetry: The Five Hundred Short Poems of the “Ainkurunuru.”