Kamala:  The Story of a Hindu Child-Wife

Kamala: The Story of a Hindu Child-Wife

Product ID: 8543

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Author: Krupabai Satthianadhan
Editor: Chandani Lokuge
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2002
Language: English
Pages: 173
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195658302


First published in 1894, the poignant story of Kamala's experiences as a child-wife, mother, and widow is one of the earliest instances, in women's fiction in English, of the Indian woman as the protagonist.

The power of Kamala lies in the emotional realism the author brings to her depiction of Kamal's character and mental state. As the first full fledged novel in English by an Indian woman, it more than amply fills its unique place.

Kamala was first published serially in the Madras Christian College Magazine in 1894. It was published posthumously as a book in the same year. Although it has been inaccessible to the reading public for over a century, Kamala was extremely well received, when first published, by both Indian and British readers. It was translated into Tamil in 1896. The original title, 'Kamala: A Story of Hindu Life' has been altered slightly to Kamala: The Story of a Hindu Child-Wife'.


Kamala is, very definitely, a novel with a mission. The author's deep commitment to the cause of women's welfare is indeed admirable.
- The Hindu

Kamala does not merely tell a story; it resonates with social consciousness.
- Deccan Chronicle

Wonderfully eloquent as personal testimony, and invaluable as social history, it is also beautifully written.
- Indian Express


CHANDANI LOKUGE is a lecturer in English at the School of Literary and Visual Studies, Monash University, Australia.


Note on the Text

Krupabai Satthianadhan (1862-94)
A Chronology of Krupabai Satthiandhan

Text of the Novel

Explanatory Notes