Topic outline

  • Kamala Das

    Kamala_DasKamala Das (31 March 1934–31 May 2009), is one of the most prominent Indian authors known for her stark feminism, scathing in criticism of the patriarchal order of the Indian society, and her deep confessional style. She is a bi-lingual poet and littérateur better known to her Malayalam readers as Madhavi Kutty and to her English patrons as Kamala Das. Her popularity in Kerala is based chiefly on her short stories and autobiography, while her oeuvre in English, written under the name Kamala Das, is noted for the fiery poems and the translated version of her explicit autobiography.

    She was a child protégé, married of at the age of fifteen. In her own words, her husband “appreciated the fact that I was trying to supplement the family income” through her writing and henceforth she was allowed to write “…at night. After all the chores were done, after I had fed the children, fed him, cleaned up the kitchen, I was allowed to sit awake and write till morning. And that affected my health”. Her open and honest treatment of female sexuality, free from any sense of guilt, infused her writing with power, but also marked her as an iconoclast in her generation.