Spanning close to a century, this pioneering anthology deftly traces the evolution of the Tamil short story, a genre that the Tamils have subsumed effortlessly to create illuminating glimpses of life. Like all timeless masterpieces, these eighty-eight finely etched stories will both hold you spellbound and jolt you out of your complacency as they traverse through the changing landscapes of different times, highlighting at once the uniqueness and the universality of life.
Culled from every available source – little-known magazines from the turn of the previous century and out-of-print editions from yesteryears to contemporary literary magazines and innumerable anthologies of both serious and popular short fiction – the writings include not only stalwarts such as Pudumaippittan, Mauni, Sundara Ramaswamy and Ashokamitran, to name just a few, but also unsung women writers and path-breaking modern voices.
Carefully and sensitively translated, these nuanced, chiselled gems reflect nearly all the aesthetic and political perspectives that make up the Tamil short story. Rooted in realism and fantasy, framed on folklore and myth, steeped in irony and angst, underscored by humour and pathos, there is a story for every reader, a story which will surely leave an indelible imprint on the mind.
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