Lamps in the Whirlpool

Lamps in the Whirlpool

Availability: In stock

ISBN: 9788194964087

Author: Rajam Krishnan/Translator: Uma Narayanan and Prema Seetharam

Price: Rs. 245

Binding: PB


245 ₨

About the Book

Lamps in the Whirpool is a story of the dilemma the modern Indian woman faces – who she should be: a dutiful wife and mother, an obedient daughter-in-law or a woman with a life of dignity. The story is set in Delhi of the 1980s and Girija, the educated housewife, is forced to acknowledge the loveless emptiness of her life, burdened by the archaic Brahminical custom of madi. For seventeen years, she has meekly accepted exploitation by orthodox matriarchy and typical patriarchy, until a visit to Haridwar and the river Ganges opens her eyes to the choice she must make – between servitude to family or an unfettered life and loss of access to her children. This story is considered the first feminist novel in Tamil. The author, Rajam Krishnan, was the first Tamil woman to receive the Sahitya Akademi Award. Krishnan set a trend for women-centric novels in contemporary fiction in Tamil and deftly exposed the brittle bricks on which the much-glorified institution of family stands and how fragile the bonds of marriage can be. The story, thus, serves as beacon for the new woman, independent, self-reliant and strong, cutting across regions and class.

About the Author

Rajam Krishnan was born in Musiri, Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu. She was deeply concerned by the lot of women in villages. As a teenager growing up in a village, she had been shocked to know that many widows, young and old, had never stepped out of their homes, except to bathe in the village pond before daybreak. Rajam Krishnan developed boundless empathy for them. As her horizons widened, this empathy embraced all women who were victims of oppression of any kind. Their voices went unheard most of the time; she resolved to be the voice of the oppressed through her writing. The government of Tamil Nadu nationalised her work in 2009. The Library of Congress has fifty-nine titles by her.

About the Translators

Uma Narayanan is the co-translator of Lamps in the Whirlpool, her twelfth oeuvre in a varied collection of published works ranging from fictional to historical. She is passionate about bringing stories that engage her with new readers, and as a bilingual native of Chennai, Tamil to English translation came naturally to her. She has since expanded her repertoire to include French to English translation, after more than a decade as a librarian at the Alliance Française de Madras. Today, she balances translation part-time with her dedication to child welfare as the founder of SOS Children’s Villages India, Chennai. During her free time, you can find her engrossed in murder mystery programmes, discussing current literature with her book club, and choosing the next destination to cross off her travel bucket list.

Born and educated in Chennai, Prema Seetharam holds degrees in Chemistry, History, Library Science, and French. In collaboration with Uma Narayanan, she has translated literary fiction from Tamil and French into English. The Tamil-English translations include Lamps in the Whirlpool and When the Kurunji Blooms, both by Rajam Krishnan, as well as Ambai, Novellas and Essays. The works from French to English are Empire of Dust and Jahanara. Prema Seetharam has worked extensively with the visually impaired and has set up Braille and Audio libraries for them.

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