The Reflections of a Hen in Her Last Hour

The Reflections of a Hen in Her Last Hour

Product ID: 2577

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Author: Paul Zacharia
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 1999
Language: English
Pages: 218
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0140278443


This collection of 21 stories by Paul Zacharia, a master craftsman of astonishing range and versatility and one of the best-known writers in Malayalam today cover a period of nearly twenty years.

Known for his outspoken opposition to religious and cultural fundamentalism, Paul Zacharia has been an unrelenting champion of the individual's right to speak, to act and to dream. In the first story of this collection, 'Till You see the Looking Glass', a young Jesus struggles to come to terms with the burden of his destiny as the Son of God. In 'Pilgrim to Zion', three versions of a story that started with the insatiable sexual fantasies of an old man come together in the priest's confessional.

Several of the stories in the collection have evolved from the author's engagement with contemporary literature in Malayalam, such as the satirical 'The End of Third-rate Literature' in which he mocks his own pretensions to being a great writer. Yet others are deeply felt and beautifully detailed images of despair, hope, love and abandon.


Paul Zacharia has emerged in recent years as one of Kerala's leading modernist writers of fiction . . At his best he demonstrates that the real innovative energy in Indian fiction comes from regional writers using their native language. - - Times Literary Supplement

Zacharia takes us into the functioning of the innermost nooks and corners of the complex mind of his characters and creates a symphony of words that grips us to the end . . He is definitely one of the fortunate few whose writing maintains its power even in an English translation. - - Vijay Tendulkar


A J Thomas is Assistant Editor, Indian Literature, the bi-monthly journal of the Sahitya Akademi. He has published poetry in English and has also translated extensively from English to Malayalam as well as from Malayalam to English. He lives in Delhi with his wife Prema and daughter Aparna


Once Upon a Time
Till You See the Looking-glass
A Day's Work
The Kiss of D.Cula
Two Theatre Stories
Brother Lukose and the Devil
A Lady Story-writer is Abducted
Santhanu's Birds
Some Mechanical Inventions for the Benefit of Mankind
As I get ready for Bed
Pilgrim to Zion
The End of Third-rate Literature
Salary Under the Table
The Red Salute
One-eyed Cats
My Military Memoirs
Radha. Only Radha
The Bar
A Complaint About the Public Library at Yesupuram
The Reflections of a Hen in Her Last Hour
The Brick and the Mason