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Tamil writer Imayam's bestseller 'Pethavan' now in English

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Tamil writer Imayam's bestselling short story "Pethavan" (The Begetter), a powerful tale about caste bitterness is now available for global readers in an English translation.

The 80-page novella in English brought out by Oxford University Press (OUP) contains a critical introduction by writer and researcher C S Lakshmi (Ambai).

"Pethavan," according to publishers had sold over one lakh copies of the Tamil original. The book was previously translated into Telugu and Malayalam.

The book narrates the story of a village girl Bhakkiyam and when she falls in love with a Dalit sub-inspector, death is the only punishment that will satisfy her village panchayat.

Pazhani, her father, is ordered to kill her. But how can a father his own daughter?

Imayam's tale eerily preceded an actual event that occurred two months later in the year 2012 in Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu.

"The narrative, constructed on short, crisp dialogues, is an unflinching account of the ugliness and trauma that await those who dare to transcend caste borders," publishers said in a statement.

Imayam is a school teacher and a prolific writer with three novels and four short-story collections to his credit.

He was awarded a Junior Research Fellowship from the Department of Culture and honoured with a State award.

Meanwhile, the translator Gita Subramanian has published three English translations of Tamil novels, one of which won the Nalli-Thisai Ettum Award for the best translation of the year.

The translation is part of the Oxford Novellas series, which has a total of 10 titles till date and is an extension of the Press' translations programme that has seen over 120 plays, poetry, life writings, short stories, novels, and travelogues translated from over 20 languages.

First Published: Wed, June 10 2015. 13:02 IST