Author: P Sivakami
Translator(s)/Editor: P Sivakami
Publisher: Orient Longman
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8125030204
The Grip of change is the English translation of Pazhaiyana Kazhithalum, the first full-length novel by P Sivakami, an important Tamil writer. This translation also features Asiriyar Kurippu, the sequel in which Sivakami revisits her first work.
The protagonist of Book I, Kathmuthu, is a charismatic Parayar leader. He intervenes on behalf of a Parayar woman, Thangam, beaten up by the relatives of her upper caste lover. Kathmauthu works the state machinery and the village caste hierarchy to achieve some sort of justice for Thangam.
The first Tamil novel by a Dalit woman, Pazhaiyana Kazhithalum, went beyond condemning caste fanatics. Sivakami is critical of the Dalit movement and the Dalit patriarchy, and yet does not become a ‘caste traitor’ because of her participation in the search for solutions. The novel became an expression of Dalit youth-eager and working for change.
In Book 2, Author’s Note, Kathamuthu’s daughter Gowri, the author of Book I, traces the circumstances and events of her novel. The result is a fascinating exploration of the disjunctures between what happens in the author’s family and community, and her fictional interpretations of those happenings.
Kathamuthu: The grip of change.
Gowri: author's notes.
APPENDIX: TWO READINGS
1. And one shall live in two/Meena Kandasamy.
2. Once upon a time there was a novel/C.S. Lakshmi.