Three of noted Tamil writer Ashokamitran's popular books including 'Fourteen Years with Boss', a gripping account of the goings-on in the iconic Gemini Studios, are now available in English.
'Fourteen Years with Boss' gives an insight into the workings of the Gemini Studios, one of the most influential film-producing organisations in India, and its founder, the multifaceted S S Vasan.
Filled with vivid sketches of actors, extras, directors and the 'boss', Ashokamitran recreates life at the studio with the perfect balance of humour and nostalgia.
The other two books are 'The Ghosts of Meenambakkam', a novella on love; and 'Still Bleeding from the Wound', a collection of stories. All the three books have been translated by N Kalyan Raman and published by Penguin Books under its Modern Classics series.
In 'The Ghosts of Meenambakkam', on one dark and stormy night, Dalpathado unexpectedly crosses paths with the narrator at Meenambakkam airport. The faceless, middle-aged man from Dalpathado's past is there mourning the unexpected death of his daughter in a plane crash. After they spend a dangerous night in each other's company, lashed by rain and reminiscence, neither man remains the same.
'The Ghosts of Meenambakkam' is a meditation on the violence that detonates human lives and the idea of love that endures all mayhem, even in death.
'Still Bleeding from the Wound' is a perfect amalgam of irony, wit and wry humour. Ashokamitran's narratives take the reader deep into the poignant struggles waged by ordinary middle-class men and women for survival, dignity, and a hint of moral grace.
Born in 1931 in Secunderabad, Ashokamitran has written over 250 short stories along with two dozen novels and novellas, in addition to a steady output of columns, essays and book reviews, earning him a central place in post-Independence Tamil literature.
His work has been translated into many Indian and European languages. His years of rich and diverse contribution to Tamil literature have brought him many honours, including the Sahitya Akademi Award (1996).
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