In A Forest , A Deer

In A Forest , A Deer

Product ID: 32701

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Author: Ambai
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Lakshmi Holmstrom
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2012
Language: English
Pages: 207
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780198080015


Winner of the Hutch Crossword Translation Award 2006, this collection of stories revolves around personal loss, sexuality, and identity and selfhood. A sense of longing for meaning in a fluid world, In a Forest, a Deer articulates the real experience of women and communicates their silences in words and images.

Breaking traditional modes of expression in terms of language and content, In a Forest, a Deer recounts, among others, the saga of Tangam Athai, whose husband remarried because she could not bear him a child and Chinthiru’s journey to the forest alongside the mythological tale of Sita’s exile to underscore Chinthiru’s unique search for self-identify.

This collection is an enduring testimony of the ideology and belief that Ambai’s writings affirm-the need to know and be in touch with a stable or ‘grounded’ self that allows fluidity and change in modern times of travel, dislocation, and exile.

Translated by Lakshmi Holmtrom, this work will be rewarding for anybody who enjoys good writing and will appeal to students and scholars of Indian writing, comparative literature, and translation, cultural, and gender studies

Ambai is a historian, creative writer, and postcolonial feminist who writes about love, relationships, quests, and journeys in the Tamil region and elsewhere. She has three collections of short stories in Tamil; three non-fictional research-based works in English; and a fourth, an anthology edited by her. Among the most original of modern Tamil writers, she is rooted in the literature and modern culture of Tamil Nadu.


Lakshmi Holmstrom is a leading translator and literary critic.


“Ambai’s… Stories explore the nuances of personal relationship, complex network of emotions, and mingles themes insightfully.
= The Telegraph

‘Ambai brings to bear upon her tales the weight of her knowledge of the mythic, literary and Puranic … A felicity of language and the easy flow of words make the translation a pleasure to read.’
= The Hindu

‘Ambai excels in making physical movements parallel the progression in her stories which are often no more than the stringing together of a few soliloquies … Lakshmi Holmstrom has been able to settle down so comfortably within the psyche of Ambai, that her translation of the latter’s Tamil writings have the easy flow of the original.’
= Deccan Herald



Author’s Note/Ambai
Translator's Note/Lakshmi Holmstrom

1. Introduction
2. Journey 1
3. Journey 2
4. One and Another
5. Camel Ride
6. Direction
7. Glow
8. First Poems
9. Parasakti and Others in a Plastic Box
10. Vaaganam
11. In a Forest, a Deer
12. Unpublished Manuscript
13. A Saffron-coloured Ganesha on the Seashore
14. A Rose-coloured Sari Woven with Birds and Swans
15. Wrestling
16. A Rat, a Sparrow
17. Journey 3
18. Forest
19. A Movement, a Folder, Some Tears