A new matrix in feminism
By Sangeetha Neeraja - CHENNAI
03rd September 2012 09:13 AM
P A Visalam’s voice carries the clarity and the nuanced understanding of feminism. The 80-year old’s strong voice is reassuring to those who are looking for role models to celebrate and get inspired.
The octogenarian shared her thoughts and experiences at the book reading session of ‘Fading Dreams, Old Tales’ at Bookpoint on Friday.
Her original work in Tamil, Mella Kanavaai Pazham Kadhaiyaai, which chronicles the author’s life during the peak of the Communist movement, in Nanjil Nadu. The book is also partly inspired by the author’s experiences.
In the author’s note, Visalam says the incidents that appear in the novel and the details relevant to them have been narrated without any secrecy.
“Only those emotions and feelings that arise from one’s own experience will have the vigour to be credible,” she said. The book explores the status of women in Nanjil Nadu, the matrilineal tradition of Marumakkathayam, her early introduction to communism by her brother and her personal battle with the idealism, as communism was falling apart.
Though the narrative remains autobiographical, she skillfully weaves the sociopolitical history in the context. The book is translated from Tamil by Meera Rajagopalan, who had developed a ‘ third language’, a mixture of Nanjil Nadu Tamil and English without losing its raw appeal and essence.
The language evoked immense praise from Mini Krishna Oxford University Press, who commissioned the translation.
Priced at Rs 495, this is truly a story of hope and a true recognition of the understated qualities of a woman who has pursued her ideals.
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