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Wild Words

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'A masterclass of contemporary Tamil poetry' - Namita GokhaleIn 2003, a group of men and women, s... Read More

Product Description

'A masterclass of contemporary Tamil poetry' - Namita Gokhale
In 2003, a group of men and women, setting themselves up as guardians of Tamil culture, objected publicly to the language of a new generation of women poets - particularly in the work of Malathi Maithri, Salma, Kutti Revathi and Sukirtharani - charging the women with obscenity and immodesty. More than a decade later, a deep divide still persists in the way readers and critics perceive women poets. Tamil women poets have been categorized as 'bad girls' and 'good girls'. The traditional values prescribed for the 'good' Tamil woman are fearfulness, propriety and modesty. Our poets have chosen, instead, the opposite virtues - fearlessness, outspokenness and a ceaseless questioning of prescribed rules. This anthology celebrates the poetry of the four poets through Lakshmi Holmstrom's English translation.

'The poems of Malathi Maithri, Salma, Kutti Revathi and Sukirtharani so enraged the Establishment in Tamil Nadu, it was even suggested that the poets be burned alive… [Their] poems raise the banner of bold rebellion as they explore the marginalized world of women.' - Paul Zacharia


'This masterclass of contemporary Tamil poetry is twice born in translation. The distinct women’s voices find their feminine awakening to the rhythm of a nuanced and rigorous English rendering by Lakshmi Holmström. Moving from the transgressional to the transformational, these interrogations address the arena of the body as well as the timeless preoccupations of poetry.' - Namita Gokhale


'The work of a new generation of female poets in Tamil has been one of the most charged spaces in the literature of that language in the last two decades. But these poets are often judged not by the quality of their language and imagery, or the density and detail with which they pursue their themes, but by the prevailing conventions of the world they live in - even the more liberal sections of that world.' - Caravan


'That these women continued to write undeterred by threats says much more for their individual courage and perseverance than it does for society as a whole. In the decade since, these four women have published more collections of poems and have continued to write about whatever they wanted to, regardless of the compulsions of their private or public lives. Wild Girls Wicked Words, translated and edited by Holmström, ironically references the indignation of the literary establishment in Tamil Nadu. It is a bilingual collection of selected poems that, while still being appetizers, are substantial enough to give the reader an idea of the kind of poetry these women write, with biographical notes to provide context.' - Mint

Product Details

Title: Wild Words
Author: Lakshmi Holmstrom
SKU: BK0379362
EAN: 9789351770879
Language: English

About Author

Malathi Maithri has published four collections of poetry. Salma is a widely recognized in Tamil literary circles, a politician and an activist. Kutti Revathi has published several books of poetry. Sukirtharani has published five books of poetry. Lakshmi Holmstrom has received the Crossword Book Award twice and the Iyal Award from the Tamil Literary Garden, Canada for her translations.

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